Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Targeted radiation therapy safe, effective treatment for elderly with pancreatic cancer

Date:
September 24, 2013
Source:
Henry Ford Health System
Summary:
A highly targeted cancer radiation therapy may offer a safe and effective treatment option for elderly pancreatic cancer patients unable to undergo surgery or combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

A highly targeted cancer radiation therapy may offer a safe and effective treatment option for elderly pancreatic cancer patients unable to undergo surgery or combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Related Articles


Called stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), the study finds patients lived, on average, six to seven months longer following treatment with minimal side-effects even when they had other severe comorbidities such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and diabetes.

Two of the patients in the study lived nearly two years.

“Elderly individuals, those ages 75 and older, account for approximately 40 percent of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” says study lead author Raphael Yechieli, M.D., with the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital.

“These patients are too ill to receive any other treatment, but with stereotactic body radiotherapy we’re able to deliver a safe and effective treatment in two weeks that can provide them with a substantial quality of life with minimal side effects.”

The study was presented at the 55nd annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) meeting in Atlanta.

In 2013, there will be an estimated 45,220 new cases of pancreatic cancer, and approximately 38,460 will die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, diabetes, obesity, family history of the disease and pancreatitis. Most people diagnosed with the disease are older than 65.

Surgery is the only known cure for resectable pancreatic cancer, where the cancer is localized to the pancreas and hasn't spread. It is estimated that only 20 percent of pancreatic cancer patients have their tumors present with localized disease amendable to surgical removal.

A select number of those patients, however, are not candidates for surgery due to having other co-morbidities such as COPD, heart disease and diabetes. This leaves only chemotherapy and radiation, or a combination of the two, available for treatment.

But for a large portion of elderly patients with localized pancreatic cancer even chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not options.
The Henry Ford study looked to determine if SBRT – a method of giving radiation that can be highly targeted to the tumor, sparing the normal tissue around it – was a viable option for this group of patients. SBRT provides a higher dose of radiation, meaning patients have fewer treatments. In this case, treatment averaged two weeks.

The study included 20 patients with a median age of 83, all of whom were medically unable to tolerate surgery or combined chemo-radiation therapy. The majority of patients in the study (90 percent) received SBRT treatment at the time of diagnosis.

Seven patients reported side-effects from treatment: nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

Among the patients: 13 had a recurrence of cancer; nine had cancer spread from the original tumor to distant organs or distant lymph nodes.

Median overall survival was 6.7 months, and median recurrence-free survival was 8.1 months. At six months post-treatment, 61 percent of patients were alive; two patients in the study survived nearly two years.

“National trends tell us that very few patients over the age of 75 are getting any treatment at all for pancreatic cancer due to comorbidity risks,” notes Dr. Yechieli. “So we want to push the envelope to give them a treatment option that, while not a cure, is short, effective and safe, and has the potential to give them a good quality of life.”

The next step in this research, Dr. Yechieli says, is to closely follow patients after SBRT and get their direct feedback to measure post-treatment quality of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Henry Ford Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Henry Ford Health System. "Targeted radiation therapy safe, effective treatment for elderly with pancreatic cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924113149.htm>.
Henry Ford Health System. (2013, September 24). Targeted radiation therapy safe, effective treatment for elderly with pancreatic cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924113149.htm
Henry Ford Health System. "Targeted radiation therapy safe, effective treatment for elderly with pancreatic cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924113149.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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