Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Finding cancer 'cold spots' can help minimize radiotherapy side-effects

Date:
July 15, 2010
Source:
European Society for Medical Oncology
Summary:
Fine-tuning radiotherapy to take into account which parts of a patient's tumor are growing fastest could improve control of cancer while subjecting patients to lower doses of radiation

Fine-tuning radiotherapy to take into account which parts of a patient's tumor are growing fastest could improve control of cancer while subjecting patients to lower doses of radiation, Dutch researchers reported at the 2nd European Lung Cancer Conference.

"The only problem in radiotherapy is minimizing the side-effects," says lead researcher Dr Christian Siedschlag from the Dutch Cancer Institute. "If one could hit the tumor with arbitrarily high doses without having to worry about complications, all tumor cells could be killed with 100 percent certainty. Unfortunately this is not the case, therefore one must take every chance to administer no more dose than is absolutely necessary."

With this in mind, the Dutch researchers investigated whether some areas in a tumor might not need to be irradiated, thereby decreasing the overall dose and minimizing damage while achieving the same therapeutic effect.

The tool they used to do this is a form of positron emission tomography scanning called FDG PET. PET scans measure the glucose metabolism of a tumor by injecting 'radioactive sugar' and measuring where the radioactivity (and hence the sugar) is absorbed in the body.

Tumors have an increased metabolism compared to normal tissue, which makes them show up well on PET scans. In most cases, lung tumors are visible on PET scans as a bright sphere, with the highest intensity in the middle.

"Sometimes, though, the shape of the tumor on a PET scan is more irregular, for instance donut-shaped with a 'cold spot' in the middle or boomerang-shaped with a 'cold spot' (or 'cold area') on one side," Dr Siedschlag explains. "The underlying question that motivated this study was: can we give less radiation dose to these cold spots? If it turned out that these cold areas show less signal on a PET scan because there are less active tumor cells, then the answer would be yes. However, it could also have been that the radioactive sugar doesn't reach the cold spots for other reasons."

At the ELCC meeting, the group reports preliminary results showing that indeed in most cases the cold spots consist of dead tumor cells. In 7 out of 61 patients they saw cold spots on PET scans. Surgical examination showed that in five cases, these spots were in fact dead cells.

"By decreasing the doses given to the cold spots, one might be able to increase the dose given to the rest of the tumor, while keeping the normal tissue dose constant. Or one could keep the dose given to the rest of the tumor constant, which would lead to less side-effects with an identical therapeutic result."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society for Medical Oncology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society for Medical Oncology. "Finding cancer 'cold spots' can help minimize radiotherapy side-effects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100430091600.htm>.
European Society for Medical Oncology. (2010, July 15). Finding cancer 'cold spots' can help minimize radiotherapy side-effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100430091600.htm
European Society for Medical Oncology. "Finding cancer 'cold spots' can help minimize radiotherapy side-effects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100430091600.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins