Several years ago, Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center became the first center in the United States to test an Israeli-invented device designed to increase the space between the prostate and the rectum in prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Now, results from the international Phase I clinical trial show that the device has the potential to significantly reduce rectal injury, a side effect caused by unwanted radiation exposure that can leave men with compromised bowel function following treatment.
Results of the 27-patient prospective trial were recently published in the Journal of Radiation Oncology. The device known as the BioProtect Balloon Implant was tested on patients with localized prostate cancer. It is designed to reduce radiation exposure to the rectum by expanding to increase the space between the rectum and the prostate. It remains in place throughout the treatment process and is designed to biodegrade completely within six months.
"We found that the addition of BioProtect reduced the radiation dose delivered to the rectum by an average of about 30 percent," says local primary investigator Mitchell Anscher, M.D., Florence and Hyman Meyers Chair of Radiation Oncology at VCU Massey Cancer Center. "Most notable was the device's ability to reduce exposure at higher radiation levels, which indicates that the cancer could be safely treated with more aggressive protocols."
The researchers observed a greater reduction in radiation exposure to the rectum at increasing radiation dose levels. At 50 percent of prescribed dose, there was little difference in rectal tissue exposure. However, there was a 55.3 percent reduction at 70 percent of the prescribed dosage, a 64 percent reduction at 80 percent of the prescribed dosage, a 72 percent reduction at 90 percent of the prescribed dosage and an 82.3 percent reduction at 100 percent of the prescribed dosage.
As anticipated, all implanted balloons started to degrade three months after implantation. The researchers concluded that the device could be especially useful in hypofractionated radiation therapy. Hypofractionated radiation therapy uses larger doses of radiation applied over a shorter number of treatments instead of delivering a small percentage of the total dose during daily treatments spread over a longer period of time.
"Massey has many patients that travel from rural areas for care. If this device allows us to deliver the prescribed radiation dose over a shorter period of time, we can reduce the overall burden on the patient and they can spend less time away from work and their family," says Anscher. "We hope to initiate a Phase II clinical trial in a larger cohort of patients in order to determine the effectiveness of the device in reducing rectal injury in comparison to standard treatment protocols."
Anscher collaborated with the study's lead investigator Gyorgy Kovacs, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Lubeck, Germany; Dieter Jocham, M.D., and Gunther Bohlen, M.D., also from the University of Lubeck; Eliahu Gez, M.D., Rami Ben Yosef, M.D., Benjamin W. Corn, M.D., and Fabrizio Dal Moro, M.D., all from the Department of Radiation Oncology at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel; Giovanni Scarzello, M.D., from the Department of Radiotherapy at the University of Padova, Italy; and Isaac Koziol, M.D., Mathew Bassignani, M.D., and Taryn Torre, M.D., all from Virginia Urology; and Shmuel Cytron, M.D., from Barzilai Medical Center, Israel.
This research was supported, in part, by funding from VCU Massey Cancer Center's NIH-NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA016059.
The full manuscript of the study is available online at:
Broadcast access to VCU Massey Cancer Center experts is available through VideoLink ReadyCam. ReadyCam transmits video and audio via fiber optics through a system that is routed to your newsroom. To schedule a live or taped interview, contact John Wallace, (804) 628-1550.
About VCU Massey Cancer Center
VCU Massey Cancer Center is one of only 67 National Cancer Institute-designated institutions in the country that leads and shapes America's cancer research efforts. Working with all kinds of cancers, the Center conducts basic, translational and clinical cancer research, provides state-of-the-art treatments and clinical trials, and promotes cancer prevention and education. Since 1974, Massey has served as an internationally recognized center of excellence. It has one of the largest offerings of clinical trials in Virginia and serves patients in Richmond and in four satellite locations. Its 1,000 researchers, clinicians and staff members are dedicated to improving the quality of human life by developing and delivering effective means to prevent, control and ultimately to cure cancer. Visit Massey online at http://www.massey.vcu.edu or call 877-4-MASSEY for more information.
About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 222 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-six of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU's 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation's leading academic medical centers. For more, see http://www.vcu.edu.
John Wallace | EurekAlert!
ARTORG and Inselspital develop artificial pancreas
26.11.2015 | Universitätsspital Bern
Laboratory study: Scientists from Cologne explore a new approach to prevent newborn epilepsies
24.11.2015 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)
Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.
Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...
Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.
In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...
In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.
Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...
Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...
25.11.2015 | Event News
17.11.2015 | Event News
21.10.2015 | Event News
27.11.2015 | Press release
27.11.2015 | Life Sciences
27.11.2015 | Materials Sciences