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:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Coco Libre, ... participation in Red Carpet Events LA GRAMMY’s Style Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer ... to stay hydrated before the big event. The invitation-only gifting suite, held this year ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Every winter, ... , This winter the West Penn Burn Center, part of the Allegheny ... #1, to bring you the “Space Heaters Need Space” campaign. , ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Vail knee specialist Robert LaPrade, MD, PhD was ... The list consists of physicians establishing, leading and partnering with ambulatory surgery centers across ... Ambulatory Surgery Center, also known as an ASC, is a modern health care facility ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... FLA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Miami ... dental implants to their Miami dental office. Beginning in January, Miami Dental Specialists ... titanium. Miami Dental Specialists are the first office to be chosen by the dental ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Pass, OR (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 ... ... contains an article about foods choices that promote eye health. These articles generally ... vision health. Water and health advocate Sharon Kleyne endorses every one of these ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016   HeartWare International, Inc . (NASDAQ: ... webcast to discuss its financial results for the three ... February 25, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. ET.  The company ... conference call and webcast.  On the conference call and ... from the fourth quarter and business outlook.   ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ALISO VIEJO, Calif. , Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... patient enrollment in a study to evaluate the safety ... specifically for the treatment of ruptured intracranial aneurysms.  Prof ... Bicetre University Hospital, in Paris, France ... the first patient. France ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARLZ ) ... will ring the Nasdaq Closing Bell at the Nasdaq ... at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 16, ... Adrian Adams , will perform the honorary bell ... p.m. ET.  A live webcast will be available at: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: