In a study of the effectiveness of focused radiation following chemotherapy, Italian researchers have found that mesothelioma patients receiving the protocol enjoyed longer periods of progression-free health and a slower return of their tumors.
Focused Radiation and Chemotherapy Combination Proves Beneficial for Mesothelioma
Focused radiation represents an improvement over traditional formats for the treatment of mesothelioma, as well as for other types of malignant tumors. Writing in the journal Lung Cancer, researchers from Cliniche Humanitas Gavazzeni in Bergamo, Italy detail their use of both stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and hypo-fractionated radiotherapy. SBRT delivers a high dose of radiation across multiple beams that attack the tumor from all directions, while hypo-fractionated radiotherapy uses highly targeted, high doses of radiation in short bursts. Both methods deliver energy that kills cancer cells in a way that leaves healthy cells unscathed.
Using multiple protocols to treat mesothelioma is not a new approach, but the Italian researchers’ work analyzed the specific impact of these two types of focused radiotherapy in patients who had at least one course of chemotherapy and whose mesothelioma tumors were in the oligo-progressive stage, where spread was limited to three or fewer sites beyond the location of their original tumors. The researchers found that the treatment was both safe and effective, and concluded that providing chemotherapy prior to this type of treatment may be particularly beneficial.
Chemotherapy May Make Mesothelioma Cells More Vulnerable to Focused Radiation
The study examined the outcomes for mesothelioma patients treated between 2006 and 2019 and treated with either SBRT or hypo-fractionated radiation following at least one course of chemotherapy. The impact was evident, with a marked improvement and extension in the time needed before systemic therapy resumed. Where patients provided chemotherapy without the protocol had previously needed systemic therapy to resume in a median of four months, the time before therapy was needed again was extended to a median of nine months after receiving focused radiation.
Speaking of the ability of focused radiation to provide local tumor control, study author Paolo Ghirardelli said, “FRT was feasible in selected patients with oligo-progressive MPM, allowing delay of further systemic therapies with no severe toxicity. FRT was more effective when performed at progression after one line of systemic therapy.”
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