Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Some lung cancer patients could live longer when treated with new radiotherapy strategy

15.09.2014

Treating advanced small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) with thoracic (or chest) radiation therapy in addition to standard treatment significantly prolongs long-term survival and reduces cancer recurrence in the chest by almost 50%, according to new research published in The Lancet and being presented simultaneously at ASTRO's 2014 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The authors say that as the thoracic radiotherapy is well tolerated, it should to be routinely offered to all SCLC patients with extensive disease whose cancer responds to chemotherapy.

SCLC is an aggressive cancer that accounts for about 13% of all lung cancers. The majority of patients present with extensive disease that has spread to other areas of the body.

"In recent years, we have made some progress in improving survival by giving prophylactic cranial radiotherapy (radiation to the head to reduce the risk of the cancer spreading to the brain) after chemotherapy, and this is now considered the standard of care.

However, survival for patients with extensive disease remains poor (2-year survival of less than 5%) and the likelihood of the cancer recurring and spreading to other parts of the body remains high", explains Ben Slotman, lead author and Professor of Radiation Oncology at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

"Although most SCLC patients have persistent tumours within the chest after chemotherapy, at present local thoracic radiotherapy is not generally given because of the spread of disease outside the thorax, and is reserved for palliation of symptoms."*

In this phase 3 study, Slotman and colleagues randomly assigned 498 adults responding to first-line chemotherapy, from 42 centres across four countries (Netherlands, the UK, Norway, and Belgium), to either standard follow-up with prophylactic cranial radiotherapy alone or prophylactic cranial radiotherapy plus thoracic radiotherapy given over 2 weeks.

Despite overall survival being much the same in both groups during the first year, after 2 years 13% of patients treated with thoracic radiotherapy were alive compared with 3% of those given standard follow-up. Significantly more patients receiving thoracic radiotherapy also survived for 6 months without the disease getting worse (24% vs 7%).

Additionally, only 20% of patients treated with thoracic radiotherapy developed cancer recurrence in the thorax compared with 46% of patients who did not receive thoracic radiotherapy. Thoracic radiotherapy was well tolerated with no severe toxic effects reported. The most common grade 3 or higher toxic effects were fatigue and dyspnoea (shortness of breath).

According to Professor Slotman, "While local control of the disease was good, the majority of patients still had disease progression outside the thorax and brain, indicating that additional radiotherapy should be investigated at sites of extrathoracic disease as well."*

Writing in a linked Comment, Jan P van Meerbeeck from Ghent and Antwerp University in Belgium and David Ball from The University of Melbourne in Australia point out, "Refreshingly, the radiotherapy in Slotman and colleagues' study was not technically complex and it would be easy to provide at low cost in even the most modestly resourced radiotherapy departments."

###

This study was funded by Dutch Cancer Society (CKTO), Dutch Lung Cancer Research Group, Cancer Research UK, Academic Health Science Centre Trials Coordination Unit, and the UK National Cancer Research Network. For more information about ASTRO's 2014 Annual Meeting, visit: https://www.astro.org/Meetings-and-Events/2014-Annual-Meeting/Index.aspx

Ben Slotman | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Belgium Cancer Medical Netherlands SCLC chemotherapy lung radiotherapy toxic treated

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A step closer to cancer precision medicine
15.11.2019 | University of Helsinki

nachricht Can 'smart toilets' be the next health data wellspring?
14.11.2019 | Morgridge Institute for Research

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: Images from NJIT's big bear solar observatory peel away layers of a stellar mystery

An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.

With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...

Im Focus: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Volcanoes under pressure

18.11.2019 | Earth Sciences

Scientists discover how the molecule-sorting station in our cells is formed and maintained

18.11.2019 | Life Sciences

Hot electrons harvested without tricks

18.11.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>