According to a recent study, a new type of radiation treatment planning technique may be effective in fighting mesothelioma cancer.
Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos. This type of cancer has an unusually long latency period and mesothelioma symptoms can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to start showing. If the disease is caught early enough, multiple forms of treatment can be used to combat the cancer, known as multimodality therapy.
Typically when someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma (depending on what stage the cancer is in), a multimodality therapy approach involving a surgical procedure called an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), chemotherapy and radiotherapy is often recommended. However, planning radiotherapy treatment after EPP can be complicated due to the large target area, the high doses required to prevent recurrence and the proximity of vital organs and other important structures.
V. Gupta and colleagues analyzed the local and nodal (lymph nodes) recurrence in patients treated with EPP and radiotherapy to determine whether IMRT could be used as a treatment method.
During the study, 86 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma underwent radiotherapy and an EPP. The radiotherapy technique included a combination of photons and electrons to maximize the dosage to the targeted area.
The results of the study revealed that only 10 percent of patients developed late grade three pulmonary toxicity and no patients passed away. V. Gupta and colleagues concluded that, MRT advantages must be balanced against the increased risk of fatal pulmonary toxicity.?
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