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Thermal Heat Therapy for Pts w/Recurrent Brain Tumors


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Thermal heat therapy for patients with recurrent brain tumors

Neuro-oncologists at The Methodist Hospital in Houston are studying a relatively new thermal therapy technology for patients with recurrent brain tumors. The investigational device uses heat therapy for recurrent metastatic tumors without damaging surrounding tissue. A laser acts like an electrode and delivers thermal therapy to the brain tumor to destroy it. With MRI guidance, physicians can see the tumor dissolve in real time.

Approximately 15 to 20 percent of cancer patients will be diagnosed with metastatic brain tumors during their lifetime. Whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) has been the standard treatment for almost 50 years. However, average survival time for patients using WBRT is three to six months. A July 2008 study in the journal Neurosurgery reported this experimental therapy was well tolerated and effective with no tumor recurrence. The clinical study at Methodist plans to enroll 30 patients who cannot tolerate further radiation or chemotherapy or whose previous treatments failed.

Screening study evaluates markers in breast cancer patients

Breast oncologists at The Methodist Hospital in Houston are evaluating urine and tumor markers in breast cancer patients to determine whether these markers can be used to evaluate potential new therapies. The investigator-initiated study will look at 340 breast cancer patients to determine the levels of the urinary metabolite prostaglandin E (PGE-M) and COX-2 enzymes, which are responsible for inflammation and pain and tend to be more prevalent in a variety of tumors.

Methodist investigators hope this research will also identify possible ways to monitor the response to treatment, as well as lead to further exploration in earlier stages of breast cancer. Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. More than two million women living in the United States have been diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer.

First worldwide lung cancer vaccine study under way

Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men (after prostate cancer) and women (after breast cancer). Several lung cancer patients from The Methodist Hospital in Houston are taking part in a first-of-its-kind worldwide study that looks at the effectiveness of a cancer vaccine. The study will determine the benefit of periodic injections of this vaccine in treating patients with non-small cell lung cancer after surgical removal of the tumor. Earlier studies suggest that a series of vaccine doses, which target a cancer-specific antigen, led to a reduction in patients' risk of cancer recurrence. Methodist is one of more than 400 sites offering the study. Patients who qualify receive 13 injections over 27 months.

Methodist Hospital, Houston

6565 Fannin St.


TX 77030

United States


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(Medical News Tdoay, Cancer/Oncology; Lung Cancer; Breast Cancer; Neurology/Neuroscience, April 4, 2009)


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

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