Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New treatment finds success treating tiniest lung tumors

10.11.2006
Study shows long survival for people with advanced disease

Patients with metastatic cancer tumors in their lungs are much more likely to live disease-free if they have an experimental treatment involving shaped-beam radiosurgery rather that conventional treatment, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study.

The research, presented this week at the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology conference in Philadelphia, offers a new option for the tens of thousands of patients annually who must cope with cancer that has spread to their lungs. Usually when the disease advances to that stage, the average survival time is 12 months and treatments are limited. In this study, some patients who were treated more than three years ago still have not had the disease spread.

Shaped-beam, radiosurgery technology was originally designed for destroying brain tumors. Rochester oncologists are expanding its use to other parts of the body, studying whether it can be used to destroy other soft-tissue tumors that were previously considered untreatable. This includes tumors in the liver, adrenal glands and spine.

Last year Paul Okunieff, M.D., and colleague Alan Katz, M.D., reported using the technology to achieve an 88 percent control rate for metastatic tumors in the liver, a result that was considered highly unlikely as recently as five years ago.

The current study was funded in part by BrainLab, the maker of the Novalis radiosurgery system. In the study of 50 patients, 91 percent of the lung tumors treated between February 2001 and December 2005 never progressed, and about 25 percent of patients appear to be disease-free after three years of follow-up.

Doctors hope that shaped-beam radiosurgery and chemotherapy might form a "synergistic combination that allows the drugs to destroy the microscopic cells that imaging studies can't see while the radiation therapy controls the tumors we can see," said Okunieff, chair of Radiation Oncology at the Medical Center's James P. Wilmot Cancer Center.

Perhaps most importantly, this high-dose, focused radiation targets the tumor with very limited damage to healthy tissue that surrounds the lesion, and patients experience minimal side effects even when a large number of tumors are treated, Okunieff said.

"We're getting better and better at finding smaller and smaller tumors that we can irradiate easily, and people are living longer," Okunieff said.

Advances in CT imaging technology are allowing doctors to detect lung cancers earlier, generally improving a person's chance for survival. The new imaging techniques combined with other technologies like Novalis are making it possible for physicians to offer treatments that a few years ago were considered impossible.

"We are now in the process of determining the circumstances in which these new technologies can benefit patients. We seem to have hit on some important ones,' Okunieff said.

Okunieff's current study focused on patients with multiple lung lesions ranging in size from 3 millimeters to 7.7 centimeters between February 2001 and December 2005. Doctors treated 31 people with fewer than five tumors curatively and 19 others with more than five lesions palliatively to slow the disease. These patients had undergone multiple previous therapies for their metastatic disease prior to radiosurgery.

Three years after follow-up, of the 125 lesions treated, 36 lesions (29 percent) disappeared completely, 32 lesions (26 percent) had shrunk, and 49 (39 percent) were stable after treatment. Only eight of the 125 lesions (6 percent) grew larger after the radiosurgery.

"If we can kill the spots that we can see, and they are the most life-threatening, we can help people live longer," Okunieff said. "And when you deliver a one-two punch with chemotherapy to destroy the cancer cells we can't yet see, we dare to consider the potential of controlling metastatic disease comprehensively."

Leslie White | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO 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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>