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New dosage of medicine gets more results in neuroblastoma

In the second phase of study that is trying new approaches to the neuroblastoma patients, researchers// say that improved dosage of the drug topotecancan be more effective in children than the common procedure.

Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, US, feel that the cancer drug topotecancan must be fine tuned to suit each child patient of neuroblastoma as not all doses are effective on everybody. Only less than half the children treated for neuroblastoma with the drug topotecancan are able to survive in the long run. That is why it is important to monitor and adjust the drug levels, in a process called pharmacokinetic-based (PK-based) dosing, to get the maximum benefit out of the drug.

The researchers have found that the PK-based dosages improve the chance of survival by prolonging the child’s cancer to the drug. Often reducing the size of the cancer tumor with the drug means that it will be easier to remove the malignant growth in the surgery. 40% of the patients enrolled for the study were surviving when the article was written. The study was published in the current issue of Clinical Oncology.

Reference: Clinical Oncology, June 2005

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