Reduction in Radiotherapy for Childhood Brain Tumours Unsucessful
A research study, Radiotherapy after high-dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic cell rescue: Quality assessment of Head Start III, published in Paediatric Blood & Cancer, shows that reduced Radiation Therapy results in worse outcomes.
“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.
The paper is a qualitative assessment of the Head Start III trial which avoids or delays Radiation Therapy in children with brain tumours. The studies represent an innovative approach to the treatment of malignant brain tumours – 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 the latest Head Start III study, only 31 of 220 children received radiation – of those, a subset (8 of 25), consisting of children 6 years of age or younger, had deviations from the treatment plan.
“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.”
Patients that received radiation therapy treatment according to protocol and within 11 weeks of recovery from stem cell transfusion showed improved overall survival.
Posted on 19 April, 2017, in Blog, Research and tagged cancer, cancer research, cancer treatment, Little Fighters Cancer Trust, paediatric cancer, Pediatric cancer, pediatric cancer awareness, radiation therapy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.