Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Advanced, precise radiation may boost limb-sparing therapy for sarcoma

04.11.2004


USC study shows brachytherapy holds promise as treatment for once-debilitating cancers



Brachytherapy, the administration of radiation therapy locally through radioactive seeds, holds promise as part of a limb-sparing treatment program for patients with soft-tissue sarcomas, according to researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. After five years, 83 percent of patients in a trial incorporating brachytherapy into the treatment plan had survived, according to a team of Keck School radiation oncologists, orthopaedists and preventive medicine researchers, who announced the results recently at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Atlanta. The results equal that of a similar trial done at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Oscar E. Streeter Jr., M.D., associate professor of radiation oncology at the Keck School and USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, shared results of the team’s study with colleagues on October 5 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Sarcomas are cancers that grow in the connective tissues of the body, commonly within muscle and bone. Surgery and radiation have been an important part of successful treatment for these sarcomas.


In the past-and even in some cases, today-surgeons have had to amputate a limb to treat soft-tissue sarcomas. But limb-sparing procedures and new technological breakthroughs are helping make modern treatment less drastic. Physicians want to take advances even further, trying to keep radiation from harming skin that is healing from cancer surgery, for example, and focusing radiation on where it is most desired. Brachytherapy may increasingly be part of that effort.

In brachytherapy, after a surgeon removes the tumor from the patient, the radiation oncologist then inserts several catheters through the skin and into the cavity left by the tumor. After at least five days, when the patient has recovered from surgery, a radiation oncologist uses a computer-controlled machine to thread tiny radiation sources through the catheters and into the cavity. This radiation treatment can often be done over just a few days, and then the catheters are removed.

The idea is to deliver high-energy X-rays right to where they are most needed-where cancer cells might still linger, in the tissue near the tumor site. Brachytherapy also means less chance of radiation burning the skin or hurting surrounding healthy tissues in the body.

In the USC study, researchers looked at 12 patients with soft-tissue sarcomas in the arms or legs (or both) between 1994 and 1995. Sarcomas were removed by USC orthopaedic surgeon Lawrence Menendez, M.D. Eight of the patients had chemotherapy before the surgery, while 10 received traditional external beam radiation therapy before the surgery and one received the external beam radiation therapy after the surgery. All 12 patients received high-dose-rate brachytherapy after surgery.

The researchers followed up to see how patients were doing five years later. In one patient, cancer had returned locally at the tumor site about three years after treatment. In another, cancer had returned both locally and away from the tumor site after about two years. Another two patients developed distant metastases early (at five and 12 months, respectively), and both patients died. Other patients remained disease-free. Overall, sarcomas recurred in a third of the patients.

The Keck School physicians’ experiences indicate that high-dose-rate brachytherapy, combined with other therapies, can reduce the risk that sarcoma will recur at the original tumor site, Streeter said. In addition, they believe that chemotherapy before surgery may be important to preventing cancer’s return locally, as well helping improve overall and disease-free survival.

"Dr. Lawrence Menendez, director of orthopedic oncology, and Dr. Sant Chawla, medical oncologist specializing in sarcomas, are excited about writing a protocol giving neoadjuvant chemotherapy, surgery and brachytherapy alone in a prospective trial to see if our preliminary study holds up," Streeter said.

Sarah Huoh | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Reading rats’ minds
29.11.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

Inaugural "Virtual World Tour" scheduled for december

28.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

07.12.2018 | Life Sciences

High-temperature electronics? That's hot

07.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Supercomputers without waste heat

07.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>