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Minimizing side effects from chemoradiation could help brain cancer patients live longer
Date:4/19/2011

ur research suggests that damage to surrounding normal tissue may also play a role in determining a patient's long term outcome."

There are approximately 17,000 primary brain tumors diagnosed in the United States each year, 60 percent of which are gliomas. The most common and malignant glioma is glioblastoma, the type of brain cancer Senator Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with and died from.

Standard treatment for the cancer typically includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy after the tumor is identified. It is often impossible to determine whether these treatments, the combination of these treatments or the tumor itself cause neurological symptoms, which include fatigue, headache, nausea, motor/sensory disturbance, short-term memory loss and/or seizures.

For the study, researchers analyzed data amongst 2,761 patients from 14 RTOG radiation therapy glioma studies that accrued patients from 1983 to 2003. Patients considered were more likely to have side effects if they were older, frailer, had more symptoms, and were receiving radiation twice daily.

"Our results support the personalized approach to brain tumor management currently being developed within the Jefferson Multidisciplinary Brain Clinic, and emphasize the importance of minimizing side effects," Dr. Lawrence said.


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Contact: Steve Graff
stephen.graff@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

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