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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Research Shows 98 Percent Cure Rate for Prostate Cancer Using SBRT

Excerpt:

“A five-year study shows that Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) to treat prostate cancer offers a higher cure rate than more traditional approaches, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“The study – the first trial to publish five-year results from SBRT  for prostate cancer – found a 98.6 percent cure rate with SBRT, a noninvasive form of radiation treatment that involves high-dose radiation beams entering the body through various angles and intersecting at the desired target. It is a state-of-the-art technology that allows for a concentrated dose to reach the tumor while limiting the radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissue.”

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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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Cancer Immunotherapies and Radiation Form Powerful Combination Therapy, Researchers Say

Excerpt:

“Cancer immunotherapy relies on the stimulation of the patient’s own immune system for an effective and lasting anti-tumor response, targeting and eliminating cancer cells. Both the research and clinical communities believe that combining cancer immunotherapy with more traditional anti-cancer treatments, such as radiation, is one of the more exciting new research areas in cancer treatment.

Charlie Garnett Benson, who is working on tumor immunity at Georgia State University, recently wrote about cancer immunity and combination therapy, the cutting-edge research areas listed in the new National Cancer Moonshot initiative highlighted by President Barack Obama in his final State of the Union address.

“Current cancer therapies include some combination of radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy for most patients. Ionizing radiation, one of the oldest and more commonly used types of cancer treatment, consists of high energy waves that damage the DNA of cancer cells leading to cell death, called cell suicide or apoptosis. But radiation can also affect the healthy cells surrounding tumor tissues, so there is a limit of how high a dose a patient can receive without leading to healthy cellular damage and death.”

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"Radiation Combined With Immune-Stimulating Drugs Could Pack a Powerful Punch Against Cancer Cells"

Excerpt:

“In his final State of the Union address, President Obama tasked Vice President Joe Biden with leading a new National Cancer Moonshot initiative. The hope is that this will put America on course to be ‘the country that cures cancer once and for all.’ Listed among the cutting-edge research areas of the initiative is a class of treatments called cancer immunotherapy and combination therapy.

“Cancer immunotherapies are treatments that stimulate the immune system to target and attack cancer. Researchers now believe that combining immunotherapy with traditional therapies could open up new possibilities for cancer treatment.

“For instance, radiation is one of the oldest and most commonly used forms of cancer treatment out there. But there are limits to how much radiation a person can receive, and it can’t kill every cancer cell. However, in combination therapy, radiation could be paired with immunotherapy to pack a one-two punch against .”

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Video: Dr. Matthew Cooperberg on Surgery for Aggressive Prostate Cancer

“Matthew Cooperberg, MD, genitourinary cancer specialist, University of California San Francisco, discusses the rise in aggressive management of men with high-risk prostate cancer. Cooperberg says the proportion of men who are receiving hormonal therapy alone had been rising consistently over the course of a 15 year period, up until 2010, to about 50%. Since then, Cooperberg says that number has dropped to about half of what it was, or 25%, which is attributed to more aggressive treatment.

“Cooperberg says local therapy for men with high-risk prostate cancer was normally radiotherapy, with surgery not being nearly as common. He adds that a growing body of evidence dictates that surgery in prostate cancer may be a more effective local therapy than radiation alone. According to the body of evidence, cancer-related survival and overall survival were normally boosted when surgery was involved for these patients.”

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