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IMRT improves outcomes in patients with extranodal lymphoma of the head and neck
Date:8/14/2011

PHILADELPHIA (August 15, 2011)Lymphoma is a cancer that affects organs of the immune system, including the lymph nodes. In a subtype of the disease called extranodal lymphoma, tumors arise in non-lymphoid organs, such as the tongue and tonsils. Patients with extranodal lymphoma of the head and neck often undergo radiation therapy, but this treatment frequently damages the salivary glands and causes dry mouth, which can lead to problems with eating, speaking and swallowing.

An advanced radiation therapy technique called Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) produces no major side effects and a high response rate in patients with extranodal lymphoma of the head and neck, according to new research from Fox Chase Cancer Center. Aruna Turaka, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Fox Chase, presented the findings at the 2011 Pan Pacific Lymphoma Conference on Monday, August 15.

IMRT involves using a computer to deliver radiation doses with the optimal intensity and pattern so that the radiation beam conforms to the three-dimensional shape of the tumor and spares healthy surrounding tissue. The procedure is commonly used to treat head and neck cancer because it provides better local control rates and causes fewer side effects, such as dry mouth com pared with standard conventional radiation therapy techniques. But whether IMRT is the best radiation therapy for patients with extranodal lymphoma of the head and neck had not been previously investigated.

"IMRT is a promising technique that should be used to treat extranodal lymphoma, in addition to chemotherapy," Turaka says. "Radiation acts as a form of local treatment that prevents loco- regional relapses, and chemotherapy helps to prevent systemic relapses."

In the new study, Turaka and her colleagues identified five patients with extranodal lymphoma of the head and neck who were treated with IMRT at Fox Chase between 2007 and 2010. Four of these individuals also received chemot
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
Diana.Quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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