Author Interviews, BMJ, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Radiation Therapy / 10.11.2020
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jayant S Vaidya MBBS MS DNB FRCS PhD Professor of Surgery and Oncology University College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What type of single dose radiation is used? Response: The findings of the large international randomised trial (TARGIT-A trial), published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2020;370:m2836), confirm the long-term effectiveness of Targeted Intraoperative Radiotherapy (TARGIT-IORT): a breast cancer treatment which is increasingly available throughout the world. For most women with early breast cancer, a single dose of targeted radiotherapy during surgery is just as effective as conventional radiotherapy, which requires several visits to hospital after surgery. Conventional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is delivered from outside the body via a radiotherapy machine (linear accelerator), and consists of a daily treatment session (known as fractions) to the whole breast, over a period between three to six weeks. Each of these treatments is given over a few minutes, but requires 15 to 30 hospital visits, which could be a significant distance from where the patient lives. TARGIT-IORT is delivered immediately after lumpectomy (tumour removal), via a small ball-shaped device placed inside the breast, directly where the cancer had been. The single-dose treatment lasts for around 20 to 30 minutes and replaces the need for extra hospital visits, benefiting both patient safety and well-being. The device used is called INTRABEAM. More details are described on the BMJ and UCL webpages: https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/single-dose-radiotherapy-as-good-as-conventional-radiotherapy-for-most-women-with-early-breast-cancer/ https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2020/aug/single-dose-radiotherapy-effective-treating-breast-cancer https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/08/20/targeted-intraoperative-radiotherapy-for-early-breast-cancer-new-evidence/ (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Radiation Therapy, University of Pennsylvania / 09.01.2020
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Keith A. Cengel, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: FLASH radiotherapy involves delivering the treatment dose at a rate that is 1000s of times faster than standard radiotherapy. Scientists have studied the differential biological effects of various dose rates for dose rates for the past ~80 years, but the unique effects of FLASH dose rates have only been appreciated in the last few years. While the mechanism(s) and applications of FLASH radiotherapy remain an area of active investigation, t is clear so far that FLASH dose rates can provide similar levels of tumor control with less toxicity to normal tissues when compared to the same dose of radiotherapy delivered at a standard dose rate. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy / 03.06.2019
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manjeet Chadha, MD, MHA, FACR, FASTRO Prof. Radiation Oncology Director of the Department of Radiation Oncology Mount Sinai Downtown MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Largely, the goal of cancer care among the elderly is to de-escalate therapy searching for a modality that is both an effective treatment and also associated with minimal toxicity. Approximately, 30% of new breast cancers diagnosed annually are among women older than 70 years of age. Age-adjusted trends note a relatively higher incidence of stage I breast cancer in women between the ages of 70-74 years. For this group of patients, it is imperative that we take a closer look at the evidence-base for our current practice standards, and evaluate opportunities to improve cancer care delivery in the elderly. Randomized trials have helped arrive at an acceptance of adjuvant endocrine monotherapy in older patients with ER positive, node negative breast cancer. However, in the older patients high rates of non-compliance to tamoxifen secondary to poor tolerance is widely recognized. Emerging data also detail the side effect profile of aromatase inhibitors. Most commonly observed symptoms of arthralgia, reduced bone mineral density, and increased risk of fractures throughout the duration of treatment are important considerations for an older population. At least a quarter of patients on aromatase inhibitors discontinue therapy specifically due to skeletal events and musculoskeletal symptoms. Overall, the side effects of ET contribute to a high rate of non-compliance and negative impact on patients’ quality of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, MD Anderson, Radiation Therapy / 30.04.2019
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Quynh-Nhu Nguyen, MD Department of Radiation Oncology The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is the first non-spine bone metastases trial comparing higher dose single fraction radiotherapy vs multifraction standard fractionated radiotherapy for patients with painful bone metastases. The results of this trial demonstrated more durable pain relief and superior local control for patients treated in the higher dose(12 Gy-16 Gy) single fraction RT compared to standard 30 Gy/10 fractions multifractionated regimen. This trial supports the previous multiple randomized trials which recommend single fraction should be standard palliative radiotherapy regimen for bone metastases. This trial is unique in that it addressed previous criticism that single fraction does not provide durable palliation with lower 8 gy single fraction and result in higher re-irradiation rates. This trial on the contrary with the utilization of modern radiotherapy techniques, demonstrated we can safely and more effectively deliver a higher single fraction radiotherapy regimen for improvement in the quality of life for patients. This higher dose should be the new standard single fraction regimen for patients who are functional and have a longer life expectancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Radiation Therapy / 23.04.2019
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ankit Agarwal, MD, MBA PGY-3, Radiation Oncology Resident UNC Health Care MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Medicaid provides vital health insurance for millions of mostly low income Americans throughout the United States. However, it is well known that patients with Medicaid have worse clinical outcomes than patients with private insurance or Medicare insurance. Part of the reason for this may be due to difficulties with access to care, in part due to the traditionally very low payments in the Medicaid system. We found that Medicaid payment rates for a standard course of breast cancer radiation treatment can vary over fivefold (ranging from $2,945 to $15,218) (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, JAMA, Radiation Therapy, Technology / 19.04.2019
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Raymond H Mak, MD Radiation Oncology Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
- Lung cancer remains the most common cancer, and leading cause of cancer mortality, in the world and ~40-50% of lung cancer patients will need radiation therapy as part of their care
- The accuracy and precision of lung tumor targeting by radiation oncologists can directly impact outcomes, since this key targeting task is critical for successful therapeutic radiation delivery.
- An incorrectly delineated tumor may lead to inadequate dose at tumor margins during radiation therapy, which in turn decreases the likelihood of tumor control.
- Multiple studies have shown significant inter-observer variation in tumor target design, even among expert radiation oncologists
- Expertise in targeting lung tumors for radiation therapy may not be available to under-resourced health care settings
- Some more information on the problem of lung cancer and the radiation therapy targeting task here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An-YDBjFDV8&feature=youtu.be
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Pain Research / 19.04.2019
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert C. Miller, MD, MS, MBA Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: "Magic Mouthwash" is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for oral mucositis pain during cancer therapy, but there has not been good evidence in the past to support its use. This trial is the first large randomized controlled trial to demonstrate that both "Magic" mouthwash and doxepin rinse reduce patient reported pain during cancer therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Radiation Therapy / 23.02.2019
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William I. Roth MD Dermatology and Dermatological Surgery Boynton Beach, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
- This retrospective study reviewed medical records of patients with biopsy-proven, primary cutaneous basal and squamous cell carcinoma (BCC and SCC) lesions on the lower extremities. These patients were treated with the Sensus Healthcare’s Superficial Radiation Therapy SRT-100 Unit between 2011 and 2014. The SRT-100 is most amenable for treating non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in patients aged 65 and older although many younger patients are treated as well when a non-scarring method is desired.
- The types of skin cancers treated included superficial, well differentiated and moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinoma in situ and basal cell carcinomas including infiltrative basal cell carcinomas. Higher energy linear accelerator radiation units have been reported to have a high incidence of healing problems. With the SRT-100 the radiation is concentrated primarily in the higher layers of the skin where the skin cancer is located and thus the treatments are well tolerated.
Author Interviews, Emory, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 15.02.2019
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Deborah Watkins Bruner RN, PhD, FAAN Senior Vice President of Research Emory University Professor and Robert W. Woodruff Chair in Nursing Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology Emory University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In a randomized clinical trial entitled, “Quality of Life in Patients With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Treated With Hypofractionated vs Conventional Radiotherapy” the NRG Oncology Group previously demonstrated that men with low risk prostate cancer had similar 5-year disease- free survival of about 85% when treated with either conventional radiotherapy (C-RT) of 73.8 Gy in 41 fractions over 8.2 weeks, or with hypofractionated radiotherapy (H-RT) of 70 Gy in 28 fractions over 5.6 weeks. However, late physician reported side effects of mild bowel and bladder symptoms were increased in patients treated with H-RT and raised questions if the H-RT arm is acceptable to patients. The current study asked the patient’s directly about their bowel, bladder, sexual function, anxiety, depression and general quality of life using valid patient reported questionnaires. These questionnaires have been found to be more accurate for reporting patient symptoms than physician report alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 12.02.2019
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amar U. Kishan, MD Assistant Professor Department of Radiation Oncology University of California, Los Angeles MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Typical external beam radiation courses range up to 8-9 weeks in length (39-45 treatments). There are data that shorter courses, delivering a higher dose per day, may be just as effective. Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) really pushes this concept by condensing the treatment to just four to five treatments, with a high dose per day. Here, we present the pooled results of the outcomes of 2142 men with low and intermediate risk prostate cancer and a median of 6.9 years of followup. We demonstrate a very favorable efficacy and safety profile. Specifically, the rates of recurrences were 4.5% and 10.2% for low and intermediate risk disease at 7 years, and rates of late severe toxicity were 2.4% for urinary toxicity and 0.4% for gastrointestinal toxicity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 12.02.2019
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Graham Kelly, BSc (Vet) (Hons, BVSc (Hons), PhD Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Noxopharm MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? What are the main findings? Response: Veyonda is an experimental drug being developed as a means of enhancing the anti-cancer effect of radiotherapy. The Phase 1b DARRT-1 study is assessing the ability of Veyonda to boost a palliative dose of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) applied to a single lesion, to result in a systemic response in non-irradiated lesions (known as an abscopal response) in men with metastatic, end-stage prostate cancer. The aim is to provide at the least better palliation, and at best a survival advantage. The reported data concerns the study’s initial dose-finding arm involving three different dosages of Veyonda. This arm involves 12 subjects and the report concerns their clinical status at 12-weeks post-irradiation. The data provide clinical evidence of an abscopal effect in at least half of the eight subjects receiving the two highest Veyonda dosages and demonstrate that the combination of Veyonda and palliative radiotherapy was well-tolerated. The 1200 mg dosage was confirmed as the therapeutic dose. (more…)
Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy, Surgical Research, UT Southwestern / 21.09.2018
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Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy / 22.08.2018
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kathleen Horst, MD Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy) Stanford University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We were interested in focusing on young women with breast cancer as this is a high-risk patient population that is not studied on its own in clinical trials. Furthermore, the available data on treating breast cancer with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) does not include detailed outcomes for women under the age of 40 years. Because most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in this age group will have aggressive disease, most of them will be treated with NAC followed by surgery. From prospective randomized trials we know that women with breast cancer who attain a pathologic complete response (PCR) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy fare significantly better than those who do not. In addition, existing data suggest that a complete response in the lymph nodes also portends a better prognosis. This is the foundation for the currently ongoing NSABP B-51/RTOG 1304 trial, which is evaluating the role of nodal irradiation in those women who attain a pathologic complete response in the lymph nodes after NAC. We wanted to know whether differences in pathologic response in the breast versus lymph nodes led to different clinical outcomes in this patient group. We evaluated outcomes following neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer in 155 women age 40 and younger. We focused on pathologic response in the breast and lymph nodes as predictors of disease recurrence and survival. We found that any residual disease in either the breast or lymph nodes lessened the chance of cure significantly. Importantly, women who attained a complete response in the lymph nodes but continued to have residual disease in the breast fared just as poorly as those who remained lymph node positive following neoadjuvant chemotherapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Radiation Therapy / 14.08.2018
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven Narod, MD, FRCPC, FRSC Senior Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute Director, Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit, Women's College Research Institute Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto Professor, Department of Medicine Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In the past we have shown that about 3 percent of women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) will die of breast cancer within 20 years of diagnosis. In the current study, we took a very close look at how the different treatments impact on the risk of dying of breast cancer. Women with DCIS are at risk for both a new cancer within the breast and dying of breast cancer from cells that spread beyond the breast (lung, liver, brain and bone). About 20% of DCIS patients will get a new breast cancer within the breast at 20 years.
- We show here that it is not necessary to develop a new cancer within the breast to die of breast cancer, in some cases the DCIS spreads directly in the absence of local recurrence.
- We show that radiotherapy can prevent 25% of the deaths from breast cancer after DCIS. And this has nothing to do with local recurrence.
- We show that mastectomy reduces the chance of a getting a new cancer (local recurrence) but doesn’t reduce the chance of dying of breast cancer.
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Radiation Therapy / 13.06.2018
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Strosberg MD Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Neuroendocrine tumor (NET) progression is associated with deterioration in quality of life. We assessed the impact of 177Lu-Dotatate treatment on time to deterioration in health-related quality of life in patients with advanced midgut neuroendocrine tumors in the NETTER-1 study. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 27.01.2018
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Alexander Efstathiou, D., PH.D Director, Genitourinary Division Department of Radiation Oncology Clinical Co-Director, The Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers Multidisciplinary Clinic Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: When surgery has probably failed to cure a patient, the best prospective data supports the use of postoperative radiation therapy. The debate now centers on the optimal timing of such post-prostatectomy radiation therapy; is it adjuvant (ART) for all (with adverse pathologic features) or early salvage (ESRT) for some (who experience biochemical failure)? (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Lung Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 02.10.2017
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Florence K Keane MD Resident, Radiation Oncology Harvard Radiation Oncology Program Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs) have recently transformed the management of patients with metastatic lung cancer, demonstrating significant improvements in overall and progression-free survival in both the first-line setting in patients with increased expression of PD-L1 (≥50%) and in patients with previously treated NSCLC who have progressed on chemotherapy. CPIs are also moving into the treatment of patients with localized lung cancer, with the recently published PACIFIC trial demonstrating a significant improvement in progression-free survival in patients with inoperable stage III NSCLC treated with adjuvant durvalumab after definitive chemoradiotherapy. However, CPIs are associated with unique toxicities as compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy, including pulmonary, endocrine, neurologic, gastrointestinal, and dermatologic adverse events, which may be fatal in some cases. The risk of autoimmune pneumonitis with checkpoint inhibitors is estimated to be on the order of 5%. Many patients with lung cancer will require radiotherapy for palliation of symptoms. Thoracic radiotherapy (TRT) is also a risk factor for pneumonitis, with a dose- and volume-dependent impact on risk. However, it is unknown whether treatment with CPIs and TRT is associated with increased risk of toxicity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, JAMA, Radiation Therapy / 01.06.2017
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Rakesh Jalali, MD Professor of Radiation Oncology President, Indian Society of Neuro-Oncology Tata Memorial Parel, Mumbai India MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Randomized controlled trials to test the efficacy of radiotherapy techniques are challenging to perform. High-precision conformal techniques such as stereotactic radiosurgery/radiotherapy, intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and particle therapy, etc have been incorporated into routine clinical practice including for brain tumors without always being supported by level-1 evidence. We therefore conducted a prospective, randomized, controlled trial of stereotactic conformal radiotherapy compared to conventional radiotherapy in young patients with residual/progressive bening and low grade brain tumors requiring radiotherapy for optimal disease control. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Radiation Therapy / 20.02.2017
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: N. Scott Litofsky, M.D. Chief of the Division of Neurological Surgery University of Missouri School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Radiosurgery is being used more often for treatment of brain metastases to avoid potential side effects of whole-brain radiation, such as cognition and mobility impairment. After surgical resection of a brain metastases, some radiation treatment is generally needed to control brain disease. Few studies have directly compared efficacy of tumor control between surgery followed by whole-brain radiation and surgery followed by radiosurgery. Our objective was to compare outcomes in two groups of patients – one whose brain metastasis was treated with surgery followed by whole-brain radiation and one whose surgery was followed by radiosurgery to the post-operative tumor bed. We found that tumor control was similar for both groups, with survival actually better in the radiosurgery group. The complications of treatment were similar. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 13.01.2017
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Trevor Royce MD MS Resident, Harvard Radiation Oncology Program MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clinical trials in early prostate cancer take more than a decade to report on. Multiple early reporting endpoints have been proposed, but which one is best, remains unknown, until now. Of all the possible early endpoints examined, to date, how low a PSA blood test falls to, after treatment with radiation and hormonal therapy, appears to be the best, specifically, if the PSA doesn’t get below half a point, that patient is very likely to die of prostate cancer if given standard treatment for recurrence. Those men deserve prompt enrollment on clinical trials in order to properly save their life. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Geriatrics, Radiation Therapy / 23.11.2016
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily C. Daugherty, MD Upstate Medical University Radiation Oncology Resident, PGY-4 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adjuvant radiation following breast conserving surgery has been well established in the management of early-stage breast cancer as it has been shown to decrease the incidence of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrences and also reduce breast cancer mortality. Large prospective trials have shown for elderly patients with favorable, ER positive pathology, omission of radiation after lumpectomy can be considered. However, women with ER negative disease were typically not included in these trials and given their higher risk for relapse as well as lack of effective endocrine therapy, we hypothesized that adjuvant radiation would benefit women over 70 years with early-stage, ER negative tumors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, ENT, JAMA, Radiation Therapy, Stanford / 15.11.2016
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michelle M. Chen, MD/MHS Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery Stanford University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The benefit of post-operative radiotherapy (PORT) for patients with T1-T2 N1 oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer without adverse pathologic features is unclear. Starting in 2014, the national guidelines no longer recommended consideration of post-operative radiotherapy for N1 oropharyngeal cancer patients, but left it as a consideration for N1 oral cavity cancer patients. We found that post-operative radiotherapy was associated with improved survival in both oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers, particularly in patients younger than 70 years of age and those with T2 disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Radiation Therapy, Yale / 30.09.2016
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nataniel Lester-Coll, MD Chief Resident in Radiation Oncology at Yale New Haven, Connecticut MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) has limited treatment options and the prognosis is poor. Mibefradil diydrochloride was identified using a high-throughput compound screen for DNA double stranded break repair inhibitors. Mibefradil was found to radiosensitize GBM tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. Based on these findings, we sought to determine the maximum tolerated dose of mibefradil and radiation therapy in a Phase I recurrent GBM study. Eligible patients with recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme received Mibefradil over a 17 day period, with hypofractionated radiation (600 cGy x 5 fractions). There are 18 patients currently enrolled who have completed treatment. Thus far, there is no clear evidence of radionecrosis. A final dose level of 200 mg/day was reached as the maximum tolerated dose. The drug was very well tolerated at this dose. We saw intriguing evidence of enhanced local control in selected cases. Patients enrolled in a translational substudy who received Mibefradil prior to surgery were found to have adequate levels of Mibefradil in resected brain tumor tissue. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 30.11.2015
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Nicholas James STAMPEDE Trial Chief Investigator Director of the Cancer Research Centre Warwick Medical School University of Warwick Coventry and Professor of Clinical Oncology Cancer Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. James: The STAMPEDE trial is a multi-arm, multi-stage trials platform testing a range of different therapies in addition to standard of care (SOC) for men commencing long term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for newly diagnosed locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer. These data from the control arm form part of a pair of publications detailing outcomes in the control arm of STAMPEDE and help to make sense of the forthcoming paper on the randomised comparisons currently in press at the Lancet. (more…)
Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 26.10.2015
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luca Incrocci, MD, PhD Department of Radiation Oncology Erasmus MC-Daniel den Hoed Cancer Rotterdam, The Netherlands Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr.Incrocci: The trial was designed in 2005-2006. The rationale was to reduce the number of fractions and therefore increase patient's comfort. At that moment some preliminary data was available on the sensitivity of prostate cancer cells to a higher does per fraction. Our calculations brought us to choose this new fractionation schedule. The hypofractionation arm (19x3.4 Gy/3 times per week) has shown equivalence in outcome compared to the conventional treatment (39x2 Gy/5 times per week) at a follow-up of 5 yrs. Toxicity is comparable, with a slight increase in bowel complaints at 5yrs. Patients will be followed-up to 10yrs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, End of Life Care, Radiation Therapy / 12.10.2015
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kavita Vyas Dharmarajan M.D., M.Sc Assistant Professor Radiation Oncology Assistant Professor Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Vyas Dharmarajan: Forty to fifty percent of all patients having radiation therapy as part of cancer treatment are having the treatment for palliative reasons – meaning, not to cure the cancer but rather to alleviate or prevent symptoms caused by it. The most common reason for referral to a radiation oncologist in the setting of advanced cancer is for alleviation of pain or prevention of an impending fracture due to bone metastases. Radiation therapy is very effective at relieving pain; in fact, published response rates are about 60-80%. The standard treatment has been two weeks of radiation treatment, and this is a common treatment scheme followed by many radiation oncologists. This may be too long or burdensome for some patients given their overall state of illness, or other personal or logistical factors. Several large randomized trials have shown that shorter radiation courses, even as short as 1 fraction of treatment, can be just as effective as 10 fractions (or, two weeks) of treatment. However, literature suggests that these condensed approaches are underutilized by radiation oncologists. A major disadvantage of traditional 2-week courses of radiation is that patients who are very debilitated may be kept in the hospital to undergo this treatment. Some patients stop early because it is too burdensome. Moreover, some may not survive long enough after the treatment to appreciate its benefits. At Mount Sinai, we proposed an intervention that combined the technical expertise within radiation oncology with the whole-patient support services of palliative medicine into a service model led by a single radiation oncologist specializing in the care of advanced cancer patients and collaboration with experts in palliative care. The service model was meant to care for patients suffering from advanced cancer with the goal of improving the quality of care that these patients receive. About two years into the establishment of this new model, we assessed patient outcomes of pain improvement, length of hospitalization, utilization of palliative care services after radiation, treatment completion rates, and duration of treatments. To accomplish this study, we reviewed the charts of 336 consecutively treated patients who underwent radiation therapy at the Mount Sinai Hospital over the last 5 years. We compared the outcomes of the patients treated before the model was established in 2013 to those treated after the model was established. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Vyas Dharmarajan: We found large differences in quality of care for advanced cancer patients being treated for symptomatic bone metastases after establishment of our palliative radiation oncology consult service. The rate of short-course treatments (meaning 5 or fewer radiation fractions) rose from 26% to 61%, while the corresponding rate of traditional length treatments (meaning, treatments over 5 fractions) declined from 74% to 39%. Hospital length of stay declined by 6 days, from 18 to 12 days (median). We also found that more patients were finishing their treatments -- the proportion of treatments left unfinished halved, from 15% to 8%. More patients were accessing palliative care services within 30 days of finishing radiation, (34% vs. 49%). We did not see a significant change in the proportion of patients experiencing pain relief from the treatment. In fact, we saw a slight improvement (74% to 80%), but this was not a statistically significant increase. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Radiation Therapy / 06.07.2015
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Ananya Choudhury Consultant and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Clinical Oncology The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road Withington, Manchester, UK Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although more than half of newly diagnosed cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy, it is still not possible to select patients who will respond and tolerate radiotherapy compared to those who do not. There has been a lot of work done to try and isolate intrinsic biomarkers which will identify either radio-responsive or radio-resistant disease. We have undertaken a systematic view summarising the evidence for biomarkers as predictors of radiotherapy. Despite identifying more than 500 references during a systematic literature search, we found only twelve studies which fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Important exclusion criteria included pre-clinical studies, studies with no control population and a sample size of less than 100 patients. Only 10 biomarkers were identified as having been evaluated for their radiotherapy-specific predictive value in over 100 patients in a clinical setting, highlighting that despite a rich literature there were few high quality studies suitable for inclusion. The most extensively studied radiotherapy predictive biomarkers were the radiosensitivity index and MRE11; however, neither has been evaluated in a randomised controlled trial. (more…)
Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 25.03.2015
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Timothy N. Showalter, MD, MPH Associate Professor & Residency Program Director Department of Radiation Oncology University of Virginia School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Showalter: Early radiation therapy has been shown to be an effective curative treatment for prostate cancer patietns with a rising PSA blood test after radical prostatectomy and for men with locally advanced prostate cancer who are at high risk of recurrence after prostatectomy. Despite evidence that radiation therapy is more effective when delivered early (or when the PSA is low), radiation therapy delivery is often delayed to allow more time for patients to recover urinary and sexual function. In order to provide evidence regarding whether delaying radiation therapy does reduce the risks of side effects of treatment, my colleagues and I evaluated outcomes of for a large cohort of patients who received treatment in the Emilia Romagna Region of Italy. We identified a total 0f 9,786 prostate cancer patients who received prostatectomy, including 22% of whom received post-prostatectomy radiation therapy. We found that earlier delivery of radiation therapy was not associated with increased risk of any adverse events, including gastrointestinal, urinary or sexual complications. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Duke, JAMA, Radiation Therapy, Thyroid / 19.02.2015
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sanziana Roman MD FACS Professor of Surgery Duke University Section of Endocrine Surgery Director of the Endocrine Surgery Fellows and Scholars Program Duke University School of Medicine Chief, General Surgery and Associate Chief of Surgery for Clinical Affairs, DVAMC Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Roman: Adjuvant radioactive iodine (RAI) is commonly used in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer. The main goals of adjuvant RAI therapy are to ablate remnant thyroid tissue in order to facilitate long-term follow-up of patients, decrease the risk of recurrence, or treat persistent and metastatic lesions. On the other hand, Adjuvant radioactive iodine ( therapy is expensive, with an average cost per patient ranging between $5,429.58 and $9,105.67. It also carries the burden of several potential complications, including loss of taste, nausea, stomatitis with ulcers, acute and/or chronic sialoadenitis, salivary duct obstruction, dental caries, tooth loss, epiphora, anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, acute radiation pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis, male infertility, and radiation-induced malignancies. Therefore, Adjuvant radioactive iodine ( should be used only for appropriately selected patients, for whom the benefits would outweigh the risks. Based on current guidelines, adjuvant RAI is not recommended for patients with papillary thyroid cancers confined to the thyroid gland when all foci are ≤1 cm (papillary thyroid microcarcinoma, or PTMC). Similarly, Adjuvant radioactive iodine ( does not have a role in the treatment of medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Given the fact that variation in treatments exist, our goal was to analyze patterns of inappropriate adjuvant RAI use in the U.S. in order to identify potential misuses leading to an increase of costs for the healthcare system and unnecessary patients’ exposure to risks of complications. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Lancet, Radiation Therapy / 11.11.2013
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Jayant S Vaidya PhD Clinical Trials Group, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science University College London, London, UK MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Vaidya: The main findings are
- a) these are longer term results that have confirmed our original publication in 201
- (b) We found that when TARGIT intraoperative radiotherapy is given at the time of lumpectomy for breast cancer, the local control and survival from breast cancer is similar to several weeks of whole breast radiotherapy
- c) we also found that with TARGIT there are significantly fewer deaths from other causes - i.e., fewer deaths from cardiovascular causes and other cancers