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Well-tolerated radiotherapy provides longer life to patients with recurrent brain cancer
Date:5/17/2010

(PHILADELPHIA) Patients who received hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy for their recurrent brain cancers lived longer lives, according to researchers at Thomas Jefferson University.

Not only does hypofractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (H-SRT) provide longer survival, patients do not experience side effects commonly seen with use of chemotherapies and targeted therapies, the researchers found. They believe these findings, reported online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, set a new bar for the treatment of recurrent gliomas.

"In many centers, patients with tumor progression within six months after the initial conformal radiotherapy are denied a second radiotherapy course (such as H-SRT), based on the assumption that their prognosis is poor." said senior author Maria Werner-Wasik, M.D., professor of Radiation Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Co-Director of the Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience. "Our findings support the recommendation that essentially all patients with progressive high-grade gliomas, who are in good shape and have tumors amenable to local radiotherapy, should be considered for H-SRT."

In this study of 147 patients currently the largest published series examining re-irradiation of recurrent high grade gliomas using H-SRT the median survival was about 11 months when H-SRT was used after cancer progressed. In comparison, the newest targeted therapy provides survival of about six months after cancer recurrence, the researchers said.

"These results are dramatic and we hope our experience influences how physicians treat patients with recurrent brain cancer," said study co-author David Andrews, M.D., professor of Neurological Surgery and Co-Director of the Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program. "We will need to design a randomized clinical trial to compare this method of treatment with current standard of care, and
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Contact: Emily Shafer
emily.shafer@jefferson.edu
215-955-6300
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

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