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New Jefferson trial to test radiation-emitting beads against advanced liver cancer
Date:2/12/2008

eness of a similar technique against advanced liver cancer. Reporting recently in the journal Hepatology, Dr. Carr and physicians at Northwestern University in Chicago found that injecting another type of Yttrium-90-containing beads (TheraSphere) was effective in treating inoperable liver cancer even in patients whose portal vein was blocked by tumor. The treatment, he says, was as good as or better than using the current standard called chemoembolization, which involves directly injecting chemotherapy drugs into the liver through the hepatic artery. Because it involves dangerous, cell-killing drugs, he notes, doctors have sought liver cancer treatments that have fewer toxic effects.

The treatment doesnt cure the cancer, but has been shown to often shrink tumors and help patients live longer. It can also be used for patients who have previously failed chemotherapy. This extends the numbers of patients who can be treated with this much safer treatment, he says. Using TheraSphere is just as safe with or without portal vein thrombosis, so it looks like its a wonderful new treatment. Its much safer because these patients dont get chemotherapy side effects, such as nausea, hair loss and they generally dont need to be in the hospital except for the day of treatment, which is usually every three months.

The immediate objective is to get patients to live longer and ultimately, a cure, Dr. Carr says. Right now the choices are surgery and or transplant. Ideally, if the radioembolization trial is successful, many of these patients would have their liver tumors shrunken to the point where surgery is possible. Some may be able to have a transplant. It would be a significant contribution to the field if we could downstage the tumors so we could do more transplants, which is the only cure.


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Contact: Steve Benowitz
steven.benowitz@jefferson.edu
215-955-5291
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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