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Stereotactic radiotherapy slows pancreatic cancer progression for inoperable patients
Date:10/29/2010

DETROIT For pancreatic cancer patients unable to undergo surgery the only known cure for this form of cancer a highly targeted cancer radiation therapy may help slow cancer progression and lessen disease symptoms, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Called stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), the study found it was able to delay pancreatic cancer progression locally, on average, by almost six months.

While, on average, the patients in the study lived about 10 months, one-third lived more than a year.

Without any treatment surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy most pancreatic cancer patients only live about four to six months.

"Our research establishes stereotactic body radiotherapy as a reasonable treatment option for patients who can't have surgery or aren't candidates for chemotherapy," says study lead author Michael Haley, D.O., a resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital.

"While it's not a curative therapy, it does seem to allow some progression-free survival benefit with minimal side-effects for patients. Ultimately, we're able to provide a treatment to patients who don't have any other options other than a traditionally prolonged course of radiation, which may not be as effective, and possibly has more side effects."

Says study co-author Munther Ajlouni, M.D., senior staff physician in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford: "SBRT allows us to effectively treat patients who are unable to tolerate prolonged, aggressive therapy within a short period of time and with minimal toxicity."

The study will be presented Nov. 2 during the poster session at the 52nd annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) meeting in San Diego. Results also are online in the November issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology.

According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2010 there will be an estimated
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Contact: Krista Hopson
khopson1@hfhs.org
313-874-7207
Henry Ford Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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