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Combined radiation seed, chemotherapy wafer implants show promise in treating cancerous brain tumors
Date:1/17/2008

y iodine-125 seeds following the surgical removal of the tumor. The seeds, housed in a titanium casing filled with iodine-125 (a radioisotope of iodine) are the size of grains of rice. The seeds are left in the brain cavity permanently, and radiation is delivered for six months.

Other institutions have studied implantation of chemotherapy wafers, which are the size of a nickel. The wafers contain BCNU (carmustine), a standard form of chemotherapy. The wafers are placed along the surface of the brain following removal of the tumor.

Combining radiation seeds and chemotherapy wafers was a logical next step, Warnick said. The combination of seeds and wafers appears to provide longer survival compared with studies of seeds and wafers alone, he said, and disease progression also seems to be further delayed.

Warnick cautioned that the effectiveness of the combination therapy is not definitive, because the study did not include a control group.

In the most notable downside to the dual therapy, brain tissue death developed in nearly 25 percent of patients and appeared to be higher than in treatment with seeds or wafers alone. The tissue death was treated successfully with surgery or hyperbaric oxygen therapy, however, and did not affect survival.

Future studies will involve using a combination of seeds and wafers to treat patients newly diagnosed with GBM, Warnick said.


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Contact: Cindy Starr
cstarr@mayfieldclinic.com
513-569-5321
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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