In addition, the findings contradict the belief of many pediatric surgeons that this technique is more likely than surgery to dislodge cells from the tumor and cause the cancer to spread. A report on the findings of this study appears in the August 1 issue of Cancer. The St. Jude findings are based on a retrospective ("look back") study of the medical records.
Substituting percutaneous core biopsy for surgery would eliminate the need for children to recover from an operation, which delays chemotherapy for their cancer, according to Fredric A. Hoffer, MD, a member of the Department of Radiological Sciences. And it would eliminate potential complications from surgery, such as infections, he says. "This technique is already commonly used to diagnose solid tumors in adults," says Hoffer. "Our own study now shows that this technique appears to be suitable for children as well." Hoffer is senior author of the Cancer paper.
Hoffer performed the biopsies guided usually by ultrasound or CT scans to obtain images inside the patient as he inserted and manipulated the hollow biopsy needles in order to obtain cores of tumor samples.
The biopsy samples were analyzed using histopathologic techniques (studying the tissue under a microscope and using antibody-based techniques to enhance determination of tumor type), as well as by cytogenetics or molecular pathology (identifying abnormalities in chromosomes).
Obtaining sufficient amounts of fresh specimens for study is essential for the success of this te
Contact: Kelly Perry
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital