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Radioactive Seed Therapy Shows Significant Reduction in Lung Cancer Recurrence
Date:9/23/2008

Study Shows near 80% Improvement In Outcomes

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Radiation oncologists at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) in Pittsburgh today will report to the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in Boston that a newer, minimally invasive approach to treating high risk patients with Stage I non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) may significantly reduce the risk of local disease recurrence.

Developed at AGH over the past decade, the procedure involves removing only the cancerous section of the lung and enveloping the surgical site in a mesh material that is embedded with radioactive seeds. The seeds emit a low dose of radiation over a prolonged period of time in an effort to eradicate any remaining cancer cells.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Non-small cell lung carcinoma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for an estimated 85% of all cases. Stage I NSCLC is characterized by disease that is localized in the lung with no metastasis to the lymph node system.

"The standard of care for patients with this particular disease is a lobectomy, or surgical removal of the entire lobe of the lung. Many patients, however, are considered high risk for this procedure due to cardiopulmonary complications or other co-morbidities. In these cases, sublobar wedge resection is a more tolerable approach, but one that carries a much higher chance of local cancer recurrence," said Athanasios Colonias, MD, an AGH radiation oncologist and the study's principal investigator.

"Our study suggests that when intraoperative 125I Vicryl(R) mesh brachytherapy is added to sublobar resection, the local treatment failure rate is substantially reduced," Dr. Colonias said.

Dr. Colonias and his AGH colleagues examined the outcomes of 145 high-risk patients with Stage I NSCLC who underwent sublobar resection (SLR) with adjuvant intraoperative mesh
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SOURCE Allegheny General Hospital
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