Navigation Links
For Kids With Leukemia, Radiation May Be Safe to Skip
Date:6/24/2009

Today's chemotherapy regimen often is enough, study finds

WEDNESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Radiation to the brain isn't necessary for most children with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, new research has found.

In fact, doctors from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital found that children who had chemotherapy alone had a longer remission period and experienced fewer adverse events than those who, in the past, had also been given radiation treatments.

"Effective chemotherapy can cure up to 90 percent of all children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia without the use of cranial irradiation," said study author Dr. Ching-Hon Pui, chairman of oncology at the hospital, in Memphis, Tenn.

"Survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia can now enjoy excellent quality of life, virtually similar to that of the general population," Pui said.

The study is reported in the June 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Leukemia, a cancer that begins in the bone marrow and affects blood cells, is the most common type of cancer affecting children and teens, according to the American Cancer Society. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood leukemia, affecting about three out of every four children with the disease.

Historically, treatment included chemotherapy plus preventive radiation of the brain, according to Pui. And, though the addition of radiation was believed to improve survival, the treatment had serious side effects, including an increased risk for another cancer, cognitive deficits and growth retardation.

Chemotherapy regimens have improved over time, but fear remained that not giving children radiation would mean that residual cancer cells might be missed, allowing the leukemia to return.

The study included the evaluation of 71 children who, in the past, would have received preventive cranial radiation but now were being treated with systemic chemotherapy or chemotherapy administered intrathecally (through a lumbar puncture). They were compared with 56 youngsters who had been treated with prophylactic cranial radiation for ALL.

The five-year remission rate for the chemotherapy-only group was 90.8 percent, vs. 73 percent for the group also given radiation treatment. Eleven children in the chemotherapy group had central nervous system relapses, but all were able to achieve a second remission.

"With effective chemotherapy, prophylactic cranial irradiation can be safely omitted in all children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia," Pui said.

Dr. A. Kim Ritchey, chief of the division of pediatric hematology/oncology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, said that the study "may not be the final answer, but my personal bias has always been to decrease radiation as much as possible."

"The treatment of leukemia has become more and more individualized, and high-risk patients can get more therapy, sometimes even based on their genotype, and this study makes the point that you can attempt to treat high-risk patients without cranial radiation," he said. "This is the type of data we love to see in pediatric oncology because we're very concerned about the effects of treatment after the cure."

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on the treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.



SOURCES: Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., chairman, department of oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.; A. Kim Ritchey, M.D., chief, division of pediatric hematology/oncology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; June 25, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Informational handout key to giving parents a better understanding of CT radiation risks
2. Prophylactic cranial irradiation in small cell lung cancer significantly increases survival
3. Different method of evaluating the urinary tract system reduces radiation dose
4. Radiation and drug combo helps boost efficacy of lung cancer treatment
5. Nucletron Announces Management Buy-Out to More Effectively Meet the Demands of Its Customers and the Radiation Therapy Community
6. Radiation therapy technique reduces length of prostate cancer treatment
7. Radiation therapy technique reduces length of prostate cancer treatment
8. Jefferson radiation oncologists use real-time system to plant seeds against cancer
9. Radiation Therapy Services Acquires North Carolina Facility
10. NASA, NSBRI Select 17 Proposals in Space Radiation Research
11. Breast Cancer Radiation Wont Hurt Immune Health
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
For Kids With Leukemia, Radiation May Be Safe to Skip
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Only two months after the official release of The Private ... (France), XO Private has initiated a second print-run of its lavish luxury travel coffee ... across when open, weighs in at more than six kilos, retails at EUR 1,000 ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... ... Dr. Ronald E. Hawkins, vice president for academic affairs ... Bell, DO, MBA, HPF, FACOEP-dist., FACEP, as the new dean of Liberty ... to Liberty from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), where ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... ... With millions of Americans and people worldwide struggling with ... aware of our options and are empowered with strength and information throughout the ... newest edition of "Vision and Hearing" in USA Today, that will educate readers ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... With ProGlass Prism users ... X . Users have total control over position, rotation, distortion, edge softness, edge blur, ... Final Cut Pro X. , With ProGlass Prism users are given the tools ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... IL (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... The ... the 7th annual “Imagine Me Beyond What You See” body image mannequin art competition. ... Choice will be showcased and the winner revealed at the 31st annual iaedp Symposium, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/27/2017)... and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel , ... (NASDAQ: BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell ... June S. Almenoff , M.D., Ph.D., FACP, and ... Board of Directors.  "Dr. Almenoff and ... appointments come at an exciting time for our company," ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Following receiving CE Marking in ... AMAR is a major milestone for the country where the device was ... market in Israel   ... for inclusion in the National Health Basket , Israel ... E-QURE Corp. (OTCQB: EQUR), a leader in medical devices for the treatment of advanced ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb 24, 2017 Research and Markets ... Strategies - 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest research Hemophilia Drugs Price Analysis and ... Hemophilia market. The research answers the following questions: ... clinical attributes? How are they positioned in the Global Hemophilia market? ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: