Nav: Home

Further reductions in radiotherapy to young children with brain tumors less successful

April 06, 2017

A team of investigators has determined that young children participating in a clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of reduced radiotherapy did worse when there were deviations from the treatment protocol. Results of the study will be available online in advance of publication by Pediatric Blood & Cancer on April 4.

"This study shows that attention to the timing, dose, and location of radiation therapy is crucial," Kenneth K. Wong, MD, a radiation oncologist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and first author on the study.

This paper is a qualitative assessment of the Head Start III trial which avoids or delays radiation therapy in children with brain tumors. The Head Start studies represent an innovative approach to the treatment of malignant brain tumors - using high dose chemotherapy followed by transfusion of blood stem cells - as a substitute for radiation in younger children, where the late side effects of radiation to the developing brain can be particularly detrimental. If disease persists after this course of treatment or if the child is older, they receive radiation therapy.

In Head Start III, only 31 of 220 children received radiation on study, since the goal of these studies is to reduce radiation exposure. However, of the children who were to receive radiation, a subset (8 of 25) had deviations from the treatment plan. These protocol violations all occurred in children 6 years of age or younger.

"Parents or providers may want to delay the start of radiation or reduce the dose or area of exposure - particularly in very young children," said Wong. "But in a study already limiting radiation exposure - patients with these kinds of protocol violations experienced worse outcomes."

For all patients eligible for radiation therapy, those that received treatment according to protocol and began radiation therapy within 11 weeks of recovery from stem cell transfusion had improved overall survival.

To further improve patient outcomes, Wong suggests focusing on reducing protocol violations by reviewing treatment plans prior to initiating radiation therapy. He is currently pursuing funding to continue this work.
-end-
Additional contributors to this study include: Girish Dhall and Arthur Olch, Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Sean All, University of Central Florida College of Medicine; Jonathan Waxer, Tulane University School of Medicine; Rajkumar Venkatramani, Texas Children's Hospital; Tom Belle Davidson, UCLA; Wafik Zaky, MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Jonathan Finlay, Nationwide Children's Hospital.

About Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children's hospital in California and among the top 10 in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Children's Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children's Hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. For more information, visit CHLA.org. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, or visit our blog at http://researchlablog.org/.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Related Radiation Therapy Articles:

Radiation therapy, macrophages improve efficacy of nanoparticle-delivered cancer therapy
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators report finding finding how appropriately timed radiation therapy can significantly improve the delivery of cancer nanomedicines by attracting macrophages to tumor blood vessels, which results in a transient 'burst' of nanoencapsulated drugs from capillaries into the tumor.
Moffitt improves radiation therapy for head and neck patients
The researchers are able to use the radiosensitivity index within a mathematical framework to select the optimum radiotherapy dose for each patient based on their individual tumor biology.
As radiation therapy declined so did second cancers in childhood cancer survivors
Childhood cancer survivors are living longer. Now research shows they are also less likely to develop second cancers while still young.
Conventional radiation therapy may not protect healthy brain cells
A new study shows that repeated radiation therapy used to target tumors in the brain may not be as safe to healthy brain cells as previously assumed.
Does radiation therapy improve survival for women with ductal carcinoma in situ?
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have found that a set of easily measurable risk factors can predict the magnitude of survival benefit offered by radiation therapy following breast cancer surgery.
Recommendation to omit radiation therapy after lumpectomy is not frequently implemented
Nearly two-thirds of US women age 70 or older with stage I breast cancer who undergo lumpectomy and are eligible to safely omit subsequent radiation therapy according to national cancer guidelines still receive this treatment, according to new study results.
New paste prevents scarring caused by radiation therapy for cancer
An antiscarring paste when applied to the skin of mice halts fibrosis caused by the radiation used in cancer therapy.
Cherenkov Effect improves radiation therapy for patients with cancer
The characteristic blue glow from a nuclear reactor is present in radiation therapy, too.
Clinical trial shows benefits of animal-assisted therapy in adult cancer patients undergoing complex cancer treatment with chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Therapy dogs may improve the emotional well-being of some cancer patients, according to results of a clinical study, the first to document the benefits of animal-assisted therapy in adult cancer patients.
Medication does not help prevent ED following radiation therapy for prostate cancer
Among men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer, daily use of the erectile dysfunction drug tadalafil, compared with placebo, did not prevent loss of erectile function, according to a study in the April 2 issue of JAMA.

Related Radiation Therapy Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...