Adding Radiation Treatments to Inoperable Lung Cancer Increases Survival by up to One Year

Excerpt:

“Patients with unresectable, or inoperable, lung cancer are often given a dismal prognosis, with low rates of survival beyond a few years. Researchers exploring combination therapies have recently discovered improved survival rates by up to one year when patients treated with a newly formulated chemotherapy regimen are also given radiation therapy.

“A group of patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (mNSCLC) who had already been enrolled in a clinical trial were given radiation therapy, in addition to their treatment with a novel chemotherapy formulation, mPEBev, which was designed for its immune-modulating and anti-angiogenic effects. The mPEBev regimen is composed of fractionated cisplatin, oral etoposide, and bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits blood vessel growth in the tumor. Treatments were administered metronomically, spaced out in the safest possible doses to reduce side-effects and toxicity.”

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Expert Calls for Shorter Radiation Use in Prostate Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Men with prostate cancer can receive shorter courses of radiation therapy than what is currently considered standard, according to Justin Bekelman, MD, an associate professor of Radiation Oncology, Medical Ethics, and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center. In his call for practice change, Bekelman cites research showing the shorter radiation treatment — known as moderate hypofractionation — is just as effective at treating cancer, while costing less and easing the burden on patients. The commentary was published online by the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics and was co-authored by W. Robert Lee, MD, MEd, MS, a professor of Radiation Oncology at the Duke University School of Medicine.”

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Second-Generation AR-Targeting Agent Explored in High-Risk Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Researchers are hoping the results of a late-stage efficacy and safety study of apalutamide (ARN-509) in patients with high-risk, localized, or locally advanced prostate cancer who are receiving primary radiation therapy will demonstrate an improvement in metastasis-free survival, according to global principal investigator, Howard M. Sandler, MD.

“ ‘The patient population that we’re studying are men who are at risk of dying of prostate cancer,’ Sandler, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, told OncologyLive. ‘If we can provide better upfront disease control, we’re hoping to reduce the number of men who enter into the castrate-resistant prostate cancer stage.’ “

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French Trial Shows Benefit of Adding Short-Term Hormone Therapy to Salvage Radiotherapy for Rising PSA After Prostatectomy

Excerpt:

“In the phase III GETUG-AFU 16 trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Carrie et al found that adding short-term androgen suppression therapy to salvage radiotherapy was associated with improved biochemical or clinical progression-free survival among patients with prostate cancer who exhibited rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels after radical prostatectomy.

“In the open-label trial, 743 patients from 43 sites were randomized between October 2006 and March 2010 to receive radiotherapy alone (n = 374) or with goserelin (Zoladex; n = 369). Patients had received no previous androgen-deprivation therapy or pelvic radiotherapy and had a rising PSA level of 0.2 to < 2.0 μg/L after having a level < 0.1 μg/L for at least 6 months after surgery with no evidence of clinical disease.

“Treatment consisted of three-dimensional (3D) conformal radiotherapy or intensity-modulated radiotherapy at 66 Gy in 33 fractions 5 days per week for 7 weeks or radiotherapy plus 10.8 mg of goserelin by subcutaneous injection on the first day of radiotherapy and 3 months later. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population.”

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Combining Radiation With Immunotherapy Showing Promise Against Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Combining radiation treatments with a new generation of immunotherapies is showing promise as a one-two-punch against melanoma, Loyola Medicine researchers report in the Journal of Radiation Oncology.

“Radiation kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA. Immunotherapies work by harnessing a patient’s immune system to attack and kill cancer cells. When combined, the two therapies appear to have synergistic effects, according to the article by James S. Welsh, MD and colleagues.

“Dr. Welsh is a professor in the department of radiation oncology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.”

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Radiotherapy Halves Deaths From Prostate Cancer 15 Years After Diagnosis

Excerpt:

“A longitudinal Nordic study, comparing the results of hormone (antiandrogen) therapy with or without the addition of local radiotherapy, shows that a combination of treatments halves the risk of death from prostate cancer 15 years after diagnosis. This according to a follow-up study recently published in the journal European Urology.

” ‘Before the turn of the century, it was tradition to castrate men with high-risk or aggressive local  with no signs of spreading, as the disease at that point was thought to be incurable,’ says Anders Widmark, senior physician and professor at Umeå University, who led the study.”

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Delays in Radiation Therapy Increase Chance of Breast Tumor Development in Women Treated for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

Excerpt:

“Women who underwent treatment for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a noninvasive breast abnormality, were at higher risk of developing malignant breast tumors if they did not receive timely radiation therapy as part of their treatment, according to a study presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016, April 16-20.

“DCIS is the most common premalignant breast lesion, with over 60,000 women diagnosed each year. Not all DCIS will develop into invasive cancer, but because it is difficult to predict which cases will become cancerous, most women diagnosed with DCIS undergo treatment for it.

“ ‘According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, primary treatment options for DCIS include breast-conserving surgery plus radiation, total mastectomy, and breast-conserving surgery alone,’ said the study’s lead author, Ying Liu, MD, PhD, instructor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and a research member at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, Missouri. ‘This study shows that it is important for women to understand the benefits of timely receipt of radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery.’ ”

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Common Prostate Cancer Treatments Suppress Immune Response and May Promote Relapse

Excerpt:

“Prostate cancer patients and their doctors may want to think twice about the best timing for chemotherapy or radiation therapy in conjunction with a common nonsurgical treatment, based on international research findings led by UT Southwestern Medical Center investigators.

“Researchers using mouse models found that many medical androgen deprivation therapies (ADTs) – the most commonly used nonsurgical treatments for prostate cancer – may suppress patients’ adaptive immune responses, preventing immunotherapies from working if both treatments are used but not sequenced properly. ADTs are anti-hormone therapies that decrease the body’s levels of androgens, the type of hormone that is required for prostate cancer to survive and grow.

“The study findings were published this week in Science Translational Medicine.”

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Shorter, Intensive Radiation Can Be Recommended in Early Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Giving early-stage prostate cancer patients a slightly higher daily dose of radiation can cut more than two weeks from the current treatment regimen without compromising cancer control, according to a national study led by a Duke Cancer Institute researcher.

“Publishing April 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the research team compared the shortened  therapy schedule of about 5.5 weeks to the standard 8-week regimen to determine if rates of cure were similar. Both treatment schedules were similar in terms of controlling cancer, but doctors reported slightly more mild side effects in  getting the shorter radiation schedule.

” ‘This study has implications for public policy,’ said the study’s principal investigator, W. Robert Lee, M.D., a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Duke. ‘Because the shorter regimen has advantages such as greater patient convenience and lower costs, it’s important to establishing whether we can cure as many patients with the shorter regimen. Our study provides that information for the first time.’ ”

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