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More Focused Radiation Treatment May Work Better Against Brain Tumors
Date:1/11/2013

ined the medical records of 161 patients treated over the past decade for glioblastoma.

Although medical advancements have not dramatically improved patients' long-term survival rates, the researchers noted that using smaller radiation margins may improve patients' quality of life.

"Treatments have gotten better over time and people with glioblastoma may live longer than they had in the past. Our study found that the margins did not affect where the [tumor] came back or how long it took it to come back and it did not affect the overall survival," Chan pointed out. "This could potentially be practice-changing."

Another outside expert agreed.

"This study is further proof supporting the trend towards using focal radiation treatments for patients with brain tumors," said Dr. Michael Schulder, vice chairman of the department of neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY.

"The concerns that many people have that radiation will cause brain injury have been to a large extent alleviated by modern techniques of radiation therapy," he noted.

Schulder believes that with the increased use of radiation that spares normal tissues around tumors, these therapies "will play an increasingly important role in managing tumors throughout the body and in particular the brain."

For his part, Cornacchia said that while the results of the new study are promising, "more powerful prospective, double-blind studies will be required to more confidently resolve the controversy of how large a treatment margin is best for treatment of glioblastoma multiforme tumors."

More information

The American Cancer Society provides more information on the effects of radiation therapy.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas


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