High-dose radiation treatment effective at fighting some cancers in children

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Directing high-level doses of radiation at malignant tumors during surgery shows promise in treating certain childhood cancers.

Eleven of 13 children in an Ohio State University study remained cancer-free an average of four years after treatment with a technique called intraoperative high-dose-rate brachytherapy (IO-HDRBT). Ten of the surviving children were treated during advanced stages of their diseases.

"Most of the children in the study likely would have died if we hadn't used this treatment," said Subir Nag, chief of brachytherapy and professor of clinical radiology at the Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at Ohio State.

IO-HDRBT delivers a one-time dose of radiation directly to tumors in hard-to-reach areas of the body, such as the base of the skull and the sides of the pelvis and the abdomen. It's especially useful in treating children, whose small size can sometimes prevent surgeons from using other methods to completely remove tumors.

The research appears in a recent issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

Nag and his colleagues treated and followed 13 children, ages 2 to 14, during a seven-year period. Each child had cancer of a soft tissue, such

Contact: Subir Nag
Ohio State University

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