Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy: Bone Metastatic Burden Linked to Survival

In patients receiving radiotherapy for newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer, bone metastasis count and location are associated with overall and failure-free survival, according to an exploratory analysis of the phase 3 STAMPEDE trial. "Prostate radiotherapy improves survival in men with low-burden metastatic prostate cancer," write the investigators in their publication in JAMA Oncology, led by first author Adnan Ali, MBBS, Clinical Research Fellow in the Division of Cancer Sciences at the...

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Radiotherapy Dose Exposure Linked to Major Adverse Cardiac Events in NSCLC

In patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with thoracic radiotherapy, a greater left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery dose exposure was associated with an increased risk of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) and all-cause mortality, particularly in patients with baseline coronary heart disease (CHD), according to results of a cohort study now published in JAMA Oncology. "Development of cardiac adverse events is a well-recognized risk following radioth...

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Breast Cancer: No Survival Benefit From IM-MS Irradiation

Fifteen-year results of a randomized phase 3 trial show that for patients with stage I–III breast cancer, internal mammary and medial supraclavicular (IM-MS) lymph node chain irradiation reduces breast cancer mortality and breast cancer recurrence but does not produce a significant improvement in overall survival. "Ten-year results from several studies showed improved disease-free survival and distant metastasis-free survival, reduced breast cancer-related mortality, and variable effects on over...

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Transoral Robotic Surgery Improves Survival in Older Patients With HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Carcinoma

Transoral robotic surgery with pathologic characteristics-guided adjuvant therapy may improve survival outcomes in older patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPSCC), according to a retrospective cohort analysis now published in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery. Because patients over 70 years of age are underrepresented in clinical trials for HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers, the optimal way to treat these patients remains controversial. Additional...

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Murray Brunt, MBBS on 10-Year Results of FAST: 5-Fraction RT for Breast Cancer

Ten-year results from the FAST study show that there are no significant differences in normal tissue effects (NTE) rates after 28.5 Gy/5 fractions (fr) compared with 50 Gy/25 fr in patients with early breast cancer; however, NTE were higher with 30 Gy/5 fr, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In an interview with i3 Health, Murray Brunt, MBBS, FRCP, FRCR, lead study author, provides insights on the significance of these results and how treatment will evolve in the...

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Non-Canonical NF-kB Pathway Improves Radiotherapy Results

A new study published in Immunity demonstrates that radiation therapy interacts with a patient's innate and adaptive immune responses to improve cancer treatment differently than previously thought. In recent years, researchers have discovered that radiotherapy does more than simply attack tumor cells; it also causes secondary immune responses that can greatly enhance anti-tumor immunity. A focus of investigation in these secondary immune responses has been the nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) sig...

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Skin Creams Can Now Be Safely Used Prior to Radiotherapy

Up to 90% of patients undergoing radiation therapy for cancer experience radiation dermatitis. While the symptoms are mild or moderate for many patients, some experience severe dermatitis that can cause not only substantial discomfort but also infection. Treatment involves topical ointments, but patients are often advised to avoid these ointments for several hours before daily radiotherapy because of concern that they might increase the radiation dose to the skin. In a recent study, researchers ...

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To Help Blood Cells Regenerate After Radiotherapy, "Mechanoprime" MSCs

Radiation therapy to the bone marrow destroys cancerous leukemia and lymphoma cells, but it also leaves patients susceptible to infection until their blood cells can regenerate. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way to speed up this regeneration by using a technique known as "mechanopriming" to enhance the ability of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to aid in the process. Mesenchymal stromal cells are stem cells capable of differentiating into a variety ...

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How Does Cancer Treatment Affect Immune Health in HIV Patients?

In people with HIV and cancer, antiretroviral therapy is often used during cancer treatment to mitigate complications of HIV progression. However, questions regarding long-term effects of cancer treatment in this patient population remain, such as the immunosuppressive effects on HIV RNA level and CD4 count, which are indicators of a patient's morbidity and mortality. Therefore, scientists sought to measure the link between these biomarkers and associated mortality after cancer treatment. They p...

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Complementary Medicine Reduces Cancer Treatment Side Effects

The field known as integrative oncology involves a combination of conventional antitumor therapies and complementary therapies used to enhance wellness, improve quality of life, and relieve disease symptoms and treatment side effects. A study published this week in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that integrative oncology facilitated adherence to conventional cancer treatment and reduced treatment-related adverse effects. The study, by Elio Rossi, MD and colleagues at...

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Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma Increases Long-Term Cancer Risk

Unfortunately, cancer survivors have to be mindful that their cancer has a possibility of returning. Childhood survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma are no exception; they have an increased risk of developing subsequent malignant neoplasms (SMNs). In order to better understand this risk, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham revisited a study that had enrolled 1,136 patients diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma prior to age 17 between 1955 and 1986, following them for a median of 26.6 year...

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In Ependymoma, Post-Surgery Radiation Increases Survival

​A phase 2 clinical trial reports that for children with ependymoma, the third most common pediatric brain tumor, radiation immediately following surgical resection substantially increases survival, even improving outcomes for children under the age of three. "Historically, children under the age of three with ependymoma have a worse prognosis than older children," said Thomas E. Merchant, DO, PhD, Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and first a...

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Prostate Cancer: Carbon Ion Radiotherapy Reduces Future Risk

​A new study reports that compared with photon radiotherapy, carbon ion radiotherapy reduces the risk of subsequent primary tumors in patients with localized prostate cancer. "The risk of subsequent primary cancers in patients with prostate cancer after treatment with photon radiotherapy is small in absolute numbers, but it is higher than that after surgical treatment," explain the authors of the study, which was published in The Lancet Oncology. "Carbon ion radiotherapy has a theoretically lowe...

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Centrally Located NSCLC: Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Is Safe

​A phase 1/2 clinical trial reports that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is well tolerated by patients with centrally located early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A high-dose ablative radiotherapy, SBRT is a standard, generally well-tolerated treatment for patients with inoperable, node-negative NSCLC. It has not previously been studied in patients with centrally located early-stage NSCLC because these patients are at increased risk of experiencing toxicity from high-dose ablati...

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Endometrial Cancer: Chemoradiotherapy Versus Chemo Alone

​Because endometrial carcinoma is a heterogeneous disease, it is often difficult to treat, and women diagnosed with advanced disease are at risk for local and systemic recurrence. When researchers tested platinum-based chemotherapy plus radiation therapy against chemotherapy alone in patients with stage III or IVA endometrial carcinoma to see which treatment improved outcomes the most, they discovered that chemoradiotherapy did not improve outcomes more so than chemotherapy alone. This study, re...

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Proton Beam Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer

A phase 2 trial reports that in patients with nonmetastatic breast cancer requiring postoperative radiation therapy, proton beam radiotherapy has low toxicity, with efficacy comparable to that of conventional radiotherapy. A specialized type of external beam radiation, proton beam radiotherapy precisely targets a tumor with high doses of radiation to kill cancerous cells while minimizing damage to nearby tissue and critical organs such as the heart and lungs. For this safety and efficacy study, ...

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Prostate Cancer: Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Safely Shortens Treatment

​A phase 3 trial reports that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), which takes significantly less time than standard-of-care intensity-modulated fractionated radiotherapy (IMRT), is equally safe for patients with prostate cancer. The international, open-label PACE-B trial (NCT01584258) randomized 874 men with low- or intermediate-risk prostate adenocarcinoma in a 1:1 ratio to receive either SBRT (36.25 Gy) in five fractions over one to two weeks, or conventionally fractionated or moderately hy...

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How Being Unmarried Impacts Cancer Treatment: An Interview With Joan DelFattore, PhD, MS

Studies have shown that unmarried patients with cancer are less likely to receive surgery and radiotherapy than their married counterparts; they are also less likely to survive their cancer. In a research-based perspective essay published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Joan DelFattore, PhD, MS, a survivor of stage IV gallbladder cancer, suggests that contrary to assumptions made by a number of researchers, the disparities in cancer treatment for individuals who are single may stem not f...

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