Pre-surgery radiation reduces long-term side effects

11 February 2015

Advanced imaging technology can allow surgeons to better target radiation beams to treat cancerous soft tissue or sarcomas in extremities, a new study has found.

In addition, this approach also reduces long-term side effects without affecting survival rates, according to the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

It is hoped that these findings will establish a new standard treatment for patients with soft tissue sarcomas.

Lead author of the paper Dr Dian Wang said the study proves that modern technology can be used to "irradiate smaller target volumes" and reduce long-term side effects, compared to conventional radiotherapy.

Dr Wang, who is also professor of Radiation Oncology at Rush University Medical Center and chair of the NRG Oncology Sarcoma Working Group, said: "It should provide oncologists with validation and evidence of this new radiotherapy approach that takes full advantage of rapidly developing technologies."

The findings are based on results from a phase 2 clinical trial conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), which studied more than 100 patients with extremity-based soft tissue sarcomas (STS) who received pre-surgical radiation delivered to a substantially smaller area than typically targeted when treating this type of cancer. 

Posted by Philip Briggs

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