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Targeted heat therapy offers new standard treatment option for soft tissue sarcoma
Date:9/22/2009

on all outcome measurements," Prof Issels said. "Almost three years after starting treatment, they were 42% less likely to experience a recurrence of their cancer at the same site or to die than those who were getting chemotherapy alone, surviving an estimated 120 months before local progression of their disease, compared with an estimated 75 months. Similarly, the average length of time that patients remained disease free was 32 months in the group that got both treatments, compared with 18 months in the group that got chemotherapy alone an improvement of 30%."

At two years, 76 percent of the patients in the heat therapy group were still alive without local progression of their cancer, compared with 61 percent in the chemotherapy alone group. The proportion of patients who experienced tumour shrinkage rose from 12.7% in the chemotherapy alone group to 28.8%, while the proportion of patients who saw their tumour grow was 6.8% in the heat therapy group, compared with 20% in the chemotherapy alone group.

The most frequent side effect of the heat therapy was mild to moderate discomfort, reported in 45% of patients. The most serious side effect was severe burns, seen in one patient (0.6%). Blisters occurred in 17.8%.

"This strategy has been in development for about 20 years, with about 150 leading groups studying it, but the clear results of this trial show that the field has now matured to the point where we must step up efforts to explore its potential to offer an entirely new way of treating locally advanced disease in several major cancers," Prof Issels said. "That will take investment from public funders to underwrite trials that investigate, for instance, whether it will be possible to reduce the dose of chemotherapy drugs by boosting their effectiveness with targeted heat therapy and whether the technique can enhance the effectiveness of newer targeted drugs."

Other questions remaining include whether targeted heat therapy
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Contact: Emma Ross
rosswrite@mac.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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