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New Technique Targets Tumors in Lung with Radiation

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... -hope.html


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Lung cancer patients with little chance of survival have been offered new hope with a treatment that targets tumours in the lungs with radiation.

People suffering from lung cancer or another form of cancer that has spread to the lungs are often not suitable for surgery meaning they have only a 20 to 30 per cent chance of living another three years.

But a new technique of directing concentrated radiation into the tumours with a thin wire has had remarkable success in early trials, according to results published in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

Primary lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK with 33,000 deaths each year and most patients are diagnosed at such a late stage that only seven per cent live another five years.

Italian researchers used the technique on 106 patients with a total of 183 small sized tumours. Some had primary lung cancer and others had either colon cancer or another form of the disease which had spread into their lungs.

None of them were suitable for normal surgery and were too ill for chemotherapy or radiotherapy meaning their prognosis was extremely poor.

In 88 per cent of patients the tumours were destroyed and in those with primary lung cancer 70 per cent were still alive a year later and almost half at two years.

In patients whose first cancer had spread to the lungs the success rates were even better.

There were no deaths related to the procedure which was carried out 137 times and the 31 major complications were managed without any damage to the remaining lung tissue.

Large scale trials are now expected to be carried out using the technique called radiofrequency ablation, which is normally used to treat liver cancer.

Professor Riccardo Lencioni, Division of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Cisanello University Hospital, Pisa, Italy, said: "This technique is much better than just radiotherapy and chemotherapy, with a chance of a complete cure of 90 per cent."

With developments in the technique since the research began, Prof Lencioni, said it could become a treatment option for all patients who cannot have standard surgery whether they have chemotherapy and radiotherapy or not.

The results of the trial will be presented at the International Lung Cancer Conference, Liverpool, UK, from next month.

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(Telegraph.co.uk, By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor, June 17, 2008)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not posted as medical advice of any kind.

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I hope someone is paying attention. My thought has been that there should be (if there isn't already) a place (center of information) where all of the innovative techniques are shared. At least, a computer source available for the latest information around the world.

From the article, I understand that it is not only for the early-diagnosed. It mentions that this technique when applied to a metastasis from a primary (of even other-than lung cancer, but which goes to the lung) can also be effective.

Anything that makes life with this disease easier for those diagnosed has to be an improvement, and a move forward. :D


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Hi, Barb.

You're right. I guess I was taking it too "personally" when I read it; i.e., I wouldn't be able to use it due to having had radiation pneumonitis during 1st radiation go round, which doesn't mean others couldn't (and possibly even me, but not to lungs).

In this case, not only does it make it easier, but it sounds like it also buys time, and that's always a major plus!

Thanks again for the posting, Barb, as always.


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Yes, it is the same procedure, RFA or radiofrequency ablation. In the abstract from the U of MS (my alma mater, thank you very much :) ) the "wire" you speak of is more correctly identified as an electrode.

Here is another link to the article that is in the original post. And this is not something folks in the US know nothing about. I would say this is the first artcile I've seen showing any promise of RFA in lung cancer, though admittedly I've not been researching this heavily. But tis is just one report and not one that has been 'peer reviewed'. Still, promising reading for sure.


Edit to say the abstract is actually U of Michigan, not my alma mater. :-)

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