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

as rhabdomyosarcoma (a cancer of the muscle) and chondrosarcoma (a cancer of the cartilage). All children were treated with IO-HDRBT in conjunction with radical surgery, chemotherapy and external beam radiation therapy (a treatment that targets the tumor through layers of healthy, normal tissue).

"A single dose of high-dose radiation isn't enough to eradicate the disease," Nag said. But applying the one-time high dose of radiation right at the site of the tumor reduces the dose of radiation to healthy tissues. Conventional external beam radiation therapy, while necessary for treating most pediatric tumors, can cause unwanted side effects in tissues near the tumor - often resulting in growth deformities.

"It hampers bone formation, for one thing," Nag said. "We try to avoid or minimize using external radiation in children as much as possible. But avoiding it sometimes means that the tumor returns. "Brachytherapy lets us apply radiation directly to the tumor site, in turn giving them more control over the area. As a result, lower levels of external radiation and other cancer-fighting treatments need to be used."

After removing the bulk of the tumor through surgery, IO-HDRBT lets physicians apply radiation via a catheter to the tumor site. The radiation treatment itself lasts 15 to 20 minutes. The catheter is then removed and the wound is stitched. Healthy tissues surrounding the tumor are temporarily moved
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Contact: Subir Nag
Nag.1@osu.edu
614-293-3246
Ohio State University
12-Dec-2001


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