Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New hope for children with eye tumors, cancer

24.06.2003


A deadly form of cancer in children, which starts out as a tumor in the eye, can now be treated successfully by a combination of therapies. This is the conclusion of a study appearing in the June issue of Ophthalmology, the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Eye M.D. Association.



Malignant retinal tumors in children, called retinoblastomas, which have spread to the bones, bone marrow and soft tissue can be successfully treated by a combination of high-dose chemotherapy, radiation therapy and transplantation of blood-producing stem cells.

In the study, conducted at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, four pediatric patients were treated with intensive chemotherapy – a combination of several very-high-dose anti-cancer drugs – radiation therapy, and the transplantation of the patients’ own blood-producing stem cells. The blood stem cells were harvested after two to four courses of chemotherapy.


In all cases, the bone marrow disease went into complete remission after two courses of chemotherapy, which was followed by radiation and stem-cell therapy. Of the four patients, two survived free of disease longer than six years. In the other two patients, disease recurred in the central nervous system and they did not survive. Disease of the central nervous system continues to be the major obstacle to improved outcomes for patients with metastatic retinoblastomas.

Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, MD, lead author of the study, said, "Our results show that retinal tumors that metastasize to other areas of the body can be cured. Chemotherapy by itself only results in transient improvement, with all patients dying of disease progression eventually, whereas chemotherapy in combination with radiation and stem-cell therapies can actually save patients’ lives. We believe more than 90 percent of patients can be cured with surgery if the disease is detected early enough, before the disease spreads."

Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo and colleagues are working with Ira J. Dunkel, MD, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and with Eric F. Grabowski, MD, ScD, at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children to develop a national protocol that will apply these principles of therapy to all children with this disease.

Based on data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program (http://seer.cancer.gov), Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo estimates the number of annual retinoblastoma cases in the United States to be between 300 and 350. Of these, approximately 15, or five percent, develop retinal tumors that spread outside of the eye. "However," he said, "in developing countries, close to 40 to 50 percent of retinoblastoma patients develop metastatic disease."

Academy spokesperson William Mieler, MD, said, "This study, along with comparable studies conducted by Drs. Dunkel and Grabowski, provides encouraging evidence that a successful approach to treating this advanced, devastating disease is close at hand. Once the protocol is further established and tested on additional patients, we can hope to see further documentation of effective treatment for patients with advanced metastatic retinoblastoma."


The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons--Eye M.D.s--with more than 27,000 members worldwide. For more information about eye health care, visit the Academy’s partner Web site, the Medem Network, at http://www.medem.com/eyemd. To find an Eye M.D. in your area, visit the Academy’s Web site at http://www.aao.org.

Media Relations | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.medem.com/eyemd
http://www.aao.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur

nachricht MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>