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History - Radiation Therapy News

Childhood Cancer Survivors Living Longer But Not Always Better

Posted 8 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 – Despite three decades of advancements in treating children with cancer, patients who survive into adulthood don't report better physical or mental health than their counterparts who were treated years ago, researchers report. Adults treated as children in the 1990s were more likely to report poor general health and anxiety than adults treated as children in the 1970s, the researchers said. That's not what the researchers had expected to find. After all, patients are living longer today than in past generations. More than 80 percent of children diagnosed with cancer are alive at least five years after their diagnosis, the U.S. National Cancer Institute says. And there have been significant efforts to minimize the toxic side effects of cancer treatments. Proton therapy limits radiation damage to healthy tissue, while limb-sparing surgery has largely replaced ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Depression, Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Psychiatric Disorders, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, History - Radiation Therapy

Cancer Patients in Poorer Countries Often Go Without Radiation

Posted 2 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 29, 2016 – Many cancer patients in low- and middle-income nations who would benefit from radiation treatment don't receive it, a new study finds. "In Ghana and the Philippines, for example, about eight in 10 cancer patients who need radiation therapy will not receive needed treatment," said study co-author Dr. Elena Fidarova, a researcher at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. She and her colleagues analyzed data from nine nations: Costa Rica, Ghana, Malaysia, the Philippines, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia and Uruguay. Overall, about five out of 10 cancer patients in these countries require radiation therapy to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. But up to half of them do not have access to it, the researchers found. In individual nations, the rates of patients who can benefit from radiation therapy but do not receive it ranged from 18 to 82 ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Bladder Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy

New Type of Radiation Treatment May Up Survival for Older Lung Cancer Patients

Posted 26 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2016 – Cutting-edge radiation therapy seems to provide a significant survival advantage for older people with early stage lung cancer who aren't strong enough for surgery, a pair of new studies suggests. The therapy is called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and it's been available for about a decade. The first study reviewed national cancer data and found that survival rates for older lung cancer patients treated with radiation therapy increased dramatically between 2004 and 2012. Those are the years during which SBRT use became widespread in the United States, said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Farach, a radiation oncologist at Houston Methodist Hospital. A second study based on Veterans Affairs cancer treatment data appears to corroborate the national findings, directly linking increased use of SBRT with improved survival rates in elderly patients. Farach ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

More Breast Cancer Patients Should Get Radiation, New Guidelines Say

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – New guidelines issued by three leading cancer organizations suggest that more breast cancer patients should get radiation therapy after a mastectomy. Overall, the guidelines say there's enough evidence to show radiation treatment after a mastectomy decreases the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and that even women with smaller tumors and three or fewer lymph nodes involved can benefit from the therapy. "The new guidelines say there is clear evidence that the benefit of [post-mastectomy radiation therapy] extends to women with limited lymph node involvement," said Dr. Stephen Edge. He is vice president for health care outcomes and policy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. Edge was co-chair of the panel that developed the new guidelines. One radiation treatment expert welcomed the updated recommendations. "The guideline is timely," said Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Surgical Prophylaxis, History - Radiation Therapy

Prostate Cancer Treatments: Different Choices for Different Men

Posted 15 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016 – A large, decade-long study offers new insights into the treatment dilemmas that many men diagnosed with prostate cancer face: What to do next? The research finds that for certain men, death rates from prostate cancer were roughly the same over several years regardless of whether they chose to be monitored – called "watchful waiting" – or underwent radiation or had their prostate removed. But the findings don't prove that "watchful waiting" is always the best choice. Men who were otherwise largely healthy and chose to be monitored were twice as likely as the others to see their cancer spread over the 10-year study period. "The healthier you are and the longer your life expectancy, the more risk you're taking with surveillance," said Dr. Anthony D'Amico, a professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School. He wrote a commentary accompanying the ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Prostate Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy, Genitourinary Surgical and Other Conditions

Some Brain Cancer Patients Have Radiation Options: Study

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – For some brain cancer patients, pinpoint radiation of tumors, known as stereotactic radiosurgery, appears to do less damage to mental abilities than whole brain radiation, a new study finds. Neither technique cures cancer that has spread to the brain, but both temporarily stop tumors from growing and equally extend survival, researchers said. Stereotactic radiosurgery is nonsurgical radiation that precisely targets tumor areas. When just a few lesions exist, this directed type of radiation appears to provide a better quality of life by not altering short-term memory and thinking skills, the study found. "We now have a better understanding of the toxicity of whole brain radiation, and we know that the toxicity of whole brain radiation is worse for patients than the recurrence of their cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Paul Brown, from the department of radiation ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Malignant Glioma, History - Radiation Therapy, Angioblastoma

Radiologists Don't Face Higher Risk of Radiation-Related Death: Study

Posted 19 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 19, 2016 – Radiologists who graduated from medical school after 1940 are not at greater risk of death from chronic exposure to low levels of radiation, a new study reports. The researchers, from the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), credited improvements in radiation protection, safety equipment and monitoring. Led by Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, chief of the NCI's Radiation Epidemiology Branch, the team analyzed records from the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Masterfile. This database was created in 1906 and includes information about more than 1.4 million U.S. doctors, residents and medical students. The researchers compared rates of cancer and death among almost 44,000 radiologists and nearly 65,000 psychiatrists who graduated from medical school between 1916 and 2006. Psychiatrists were selected because they were unlikely to be exposed to radiation ... Read more

Related support groups: History - Radiation Therapy

Patient Positioning Might Hamper Accuracy of Breast MRI

Posted 22 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 2016 – There's evidence that the position a woman is placed in during her pre-surgical breast MRI could influence – for better or worse – the scan's accuracy. The small study, from radiologists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, suggests that MRI images taken before breast cancer surgery could provide incorrect data if the patient is placed face-down during the scan. In contrast, "supine [face up] MRI before surgery may provide surgeons with more detailed and accurate information, and could lead to effective tumor removal," lead researcher and radiologist Dr. Eva Gombos said in a hospital news release. A breast MRI is commonly performed before breast cancer patients undergo breast-conserving lumpectomy, to help the surgeon see the size, shape and location of the tumor. "The real benefit of breast MRI in a patient with breast cancer is preoperative ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, History - Radiation Therapy

Do Too Many Lung Cancer Patients Miss Out on Surgery?

Posted 21 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 – Many patients with advanced lung cancer might live longer if treated surgically, but few go that route, new research indicates. A study of U.S. patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer found only 11 percent underwent surgery – and 27 percent got no treatment at all. Yet surgery, either alone or with other treatments, prolonged survival by as much as 41 months, researchers said. "We were surprised by the findings, but they have to be considered with caution," said study lead author Dr. Elizabeth David, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, in Sacramento. "Surgery is not appropriate for every patient with stage 3 or 4 lung cancer," she noted. "We just need to make sure that appropriate patients are evaluated by surgeons, and we are working on ways to make that easier." At stages 3 and 4, the cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

Useless Treatments Common in Young, Terminal Cancer Patients

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – Three-quarters of young or middle-aged Americans with terminal cancer receive aggressive treatment during the last month of their lives, even though such care may provide nothing but misery, a new study estimates. An analysis of insurance records found that cancer patients often undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery in their final 30 days. One-third die in the hospital, while fewer than one in five use hospice care to ease their suffering, according to findings presented Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago. "Additional efforts are critically needed to improve end-of-life care for patients with terminal disease, to ensure that the care provided meets the goals and preferences of patients and their families," said lead researcher Dr. Ronald Chen. He is an associate professor of radiation oncology at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Gastric Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy

Additional Treatments Offer Little Benefit for Pancreatic Cancer: Study

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 3, 2016 – Additional treatments for locally advanced pancreatic cancer don't appear to boost survival, a new French study reports. Researchers looked at the effects of adding a second drug – erlotinib (Tarceva) – to the initial round of chemotherapy. They also tested whether adding radiation to a second round of chemotherapy (chemoradiotherapy) would offer any survival benefit. Unfortunately, the addition of the second drug didn't help people live longer, and those on chemoradiotherapy didn't fare any better. "Chemoradiotherapy was not superior to chemotherapy," said the study's senior author, Dr. Pascal Hammel. Hammel is from the department of gastroenterology-pancreatology at Beaujon Hospital, in Clichy, France. The study was funded by the pharmaceutical company Roche, the maker of Tarceva, and the French National Institute of Cancer. More than 53,000 Americans are ... Read more

Related support groups: Tarceva, Pancreatic Cancer, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Erlotinib, History - Radiation Therapy

Radiation May Help After Surgery for 'Soft-Tissue' Cancers

Posted 15 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 – Older patients with a type of cancer called soft-tissue sarcomas may benefit more from radiation therapy after surgery than younger patients do, a new study suggests. The results might change the way older patients are treated for soft-tissue sarcomas, which are cancers that develop in muscles, fat and other types of tissue, the study authors said. Surgery is typically used to treat these cancers. But it hasn't been clear if radiation therapy after surgery improved survival. The new study looked at information from more than 15,300 U.S. adults with localized soft-tissue sarcomas. Some were treated with surgery alone, while others had surgery and radiation. Treatments occurred between 1990 and 2011. Radiation after surgery improved survival compared to surgery alone, but this was seen mostly in patients 65 and older, the study showed. "We found that older ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Soft Tissue Sarcoma, History - Radiation Therapy

Chemo May Prolong Lives of Some Brain Cancer Patients: Study

Posted 6 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2016 – Adding chemotherapy to radiation treatment may add years to the lives of people with certain slow-growing brain tumors, a new study finds. The findings come from a long-term follow-up of patients who took part in a trial that began in 1998. All were treated for grade 2 gliomas – tumors that begin in brain cells called glial cells and are relatively slow-growing. Earlier results from the trial had shown that adding chemotherapy to the standard treatment of radiation – with or without surgery – can help keep tumors from progressing. Now there's proof that it prolongs people's lives, too. "Until now, there hasn't been any therapy known to improve life expectancy for these patients," said lead researcher Dr. Jan Buckner. He is the chair of oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. In the United States, nearly 23,000 adults were diagnosed with brain ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Malignant Glioma, History - Radiation Therapy

High-Dose Radiation May Be No Better for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

Posted 6 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2016 – Higher doses of radiation may not benefit low-risk prostate cancer patients, a new review suggests. "In the field of radiation oncology, we often assume that the highest dose that the body can tolerate will be most effective at killing cancer," said senior study author Dr. Robert Den, a researcher at Thomas Jefferson University's cancer center in Philadelphia. "Our results argue that this may not be the case, at least not with lower-risk prostate cancer patients," Den added in a university news release. The researchers reviewed 12 studies that assessed the use of external beam radiation treatment for men with localized prostate cancer. The clinical trials included more than 6,800 patients. As patients received higher doses of radiation, there was a drop in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, which are used to monitor prostate cancer. However, higher doses ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Nausea/Vomiting - Radiation Induced, History - Radiation Therapy

Shorter, Intensive Radiation Works for Prostate Cancer: Study

Posted 4 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 4, 2016 – A slightly higher dose of radiation therapy for early stage prostate cancer may reduce treatment time without compromising effectiveness, researchers report. The study included about 1,100 men with early-stage prostate cancer that had not spread beyond the gland. Half received the traditional radiation therapy program of 41 treatments over eight weeks, while the others received slightly higher doses during 28 treatments over about 5.5 weeks. After five years, cancer-free survival rates were just over 85 percent for those in the traditional group and just over 86 percent for those in the shorter treatment group, while overall survival rates were 93.2 percent and 92.5 percent, respectively. "This study has implications for public policy," said lead investigator Dr. W. Robert Lee. He is a professor at the Duke Cancer Institute's department of radiation oncology, in ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Nausea/Vomiting - Radiation Induced, History - Radiation Therapy

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