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Targeted radiation therapy can control limited cancer spread
Date:8/12/2008

rsity of Chicago has directed since 2005,.

Patients with stage-IV cancer with one to five distant metastases and no tumors bigger than 10 centimeters (about four inches) in diameter were eligible to participate in the study either before or after chemotherapy treatment.

Each patient received three doses, separated by at least two days, of precisely targeted radiation therapy focused on each metastatic tumor. Treatment was usually completed within one week. The first patients in the study received lower doses. As few side effects were seen, radiation doses were gradually increased in subsequent groups of patients.

"Previous studies determined the maximal radiotherapy doses for single organs," said Salama, lead author of the study, "but this technique has not been tested for simultaneous use on multiple organs. So we designed a dose-escalation trial to determine the optimal dose, starting with fairly low levels and increasing the dose in later groups of patients."

From November 2004 through February 2008, 29 patients, with a total of 56 cancerous lesions, enrolled in the trial. Of the 29 patients, 24 had progressed after at least one round of systemic chemotherapy. For the other five, there was no promising choice of therapy.

Six of the 29 initial patients had lasting tumor control, with no detectable evidence of disease 15 months after treatment.

Many patients had a complete response in at least one tumor. Thirty-one of the 56 treated tumors (55%) completely disappeared. Two tumors (4%) had a partial response, defined as reduction in tumor volume of more than 30 percent. Only three of the 56 tumors progressed (5%), growing in size by 20 percent or more during the treatment phase.

Tumor control improved as the radiation dose increased. Thirty-nine percent of the 31 tumors treated with 24 gray of radiation met the criteria for tumor control--a complete or partial response. That increased to 79 percent for
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Contact: John Easton
john.easton@uchospitals.edu
773-702-6241
University of Chicago Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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