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New Treatment Found for Recurring Brain Tumors


Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)



Website: http://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/Research_270/New_Treatment_Found_for_Recurring_Brain_Tumors.shtml

Posted on: 02/15/2008

Research Author: Staff Last Updated: Feb 8, 2008 - 7:51:24 PM



New Treatment Found for Recurring Brain Tumors
By Staff
Feb 8, 2008 - 3:49:33 PM

 
Many patients experience extended survival rates


(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Reston, Va.—Researchers recently discovered a new treatment that effectively kills residual cancer cells in brain tumor patients without damaging healthy brain cells. The treatment utilizes an isotope called astatine-211 that is injected into the patient. This is the first ever clinical trial with astatine-211, an isotope that is very attractive because it can have more than five times the cancer cell–killing efficiency over standard radiation treatments.

The study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, found that this treatment may extend the lives of patients with brain tumors anywhere from one to three years—compared to only a half-year survival expectancy without this treatment. What’s more, this study lays the groundwork for applying this treatment to other types of cancers, such as ovarian and breast, that have spread to the central nervous system.

“The ability to deliver such a potent cancer killer without causing neurotoxicity (damage to the delicate neurological system that controls brain function) would be an important step forward in combating this lethal disease, and potentially others,” said Michael R. Zalutsky, professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

In the past, surgeons have been able to remove the bulk of the tumor but were unable to see, and therefore identify, any residual cancerous cells remaining in the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. This meant that dangerous cells could continue to grow into new tumors and eventually kill the patient. But this new treatment offers a way to kill cancerous cells remaining in the brain without causing harm to the individual, thereby prolonging a person’s life.

“These findings are extremely encouraging, on both the scientific and the human level,” said Dr. Alexander McEwan, president of SNM—an organization dedicated to promoting the advances and benefits of molecular imaging. “This study is yet another example of how breakthrough molecular imaging therapies can help doctors offer real hope to patients through personalized medicine, resulting in longer, healthier lives.”

For more information about this study visit www.snm.org; for more about molecular imaging, visit www.molecularimagingcenter.org.

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