Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Proton beam therapy may improve treatment of rare but aggressive tumor

22.11.2006
Focusing radiation in the affected area leads to better control of cranial-base tumor

Proton beam radiation therapy, a very precise type of radiation treatment, may be an effective treatment for advanced adenoid cystic carcinoma that has spread to the cranial base, according to a study from the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

In the November issue of Archives of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, the research team describes results from 11 years of using proton therapy to treat this tumor, which can be dangerous when it spreads into the complex structures at the base of the skull.

"We are very encouraged by our results, in which local tumor control of advanced adenoid cystic carcinoma of the cranial base compared very favorably with results reported from traditional radiation therapy," says Annie Chan, MD, MGH Radiation Oncology, who led the study.

Frequently originating in the salivary glands, adenoid cystic carcinoma is an indolent but aggressive tumor that is usually treated surgically if diagnosed at an early stage. However, when it originates in or spreads into the cranial base – a complex area involving the cranial nerves, the eyes and critical brain structures – it is impossible to remove the tumor safely. Traditional radiation therapy has had limited success in controlling the tumors' growth, largely because the sensitive adjacent structures sharply limit the ability to deliver a strong enough dose.

Proton therapy takes advantage of an inherent quality of the positively charged atomic particles. As they travel through tissues, protons release most of their energy in a concentrated burst near the end of their range, which allows the power of the proton beam to be focused extremely precisely and spares surrounding structures. The MGH has used proton therapy to treat a variety of benign and malignant conditions since 1961 and in 2001 opened the Burr Proton Therapy Center, at the time the second hospital-based center in the world. Currently, proton therapy is offered in 25 centers worldwide, five of which are in the U.S.

The current study reports on a group of patients with very locally advanced adenoid cystic carcinoma involving the cranial base who were treated with high-dose proton beam therapy during the years 1991 through 2002. The majority of the patients could not undergo surgery, as the tumors were very advanced and involved critical structures in the brain or the cranial base. Patients were treated with high-dose proton beam radiation therapy, with treatment plans individually designed to target their specific tumors.

With proton beam treatment, only 9 percent of patients had local recurrence of their tumors, while with traditional radiation tumors recur locally more than 70 percent of the time. With tumors controlled locally in most patients, cancer that did recur was in the form of distant metastasis. However, more than half the patients remained free of recurrence through the end of the study period, up to eight years after surgery. Although blindness is a common side effect of traditional radiation to this area, none of the patients developed blindness with the proton beam treatment.

While the results of this study – the first known report of the use of proton beam therapy to treat this tumor – are better than trials of other types of radiation treatment, the researchers note that conducting the kind of randomized trial required to confirm a treatment's superiority would be difficult for such a rare tumor. However, multi-institutional prospective studies could further study the use of proton beam therapy to treat this rare and aggressive malignancy.

"We are now investigating whether combining proton beam radiation therapy with chemotherapy could further improve the outcome for these patients," says Chan, an assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Improving memory with magnets
28.03.2017 | McGill University

nachricht Graphene-based neural probes probe brain activity in high resolution
28.03.2017 | Graphene Flagship

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 Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>