'Microbeads' may boost survival in advanced colon cancer patients
Small, preliminary study suggests radioactive beads may extend life by months in some patients.
(HealthDay News) —For advanced colon cancer patients who have developed liver tumors, so-called "radioactive beads" implanted near these tumors may extend survival nearly a year longer than among patients on chemotherapy alone, a small new study finds.
The research, from Beaumont Hospitals in Michigan, helps advance the understanding of how various treatment combinations for colorectal cancer—the third most common cancer in American men and women—affect how well each individual treatment works, experts said.
"I definitely think there's a lot of room for studying the associations between different types of treatments," said study author Dr. Dmitry Goldin, a radiology resident at Beaumont. "There are constantly new treatments, but they come out so fast that we don't always know the consequences or complications of the associations. We need to study the sequence, or order, of treatments."
The study is scheduled to be presented Saturday at the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy in Miami Beach, Fla. It was also published in the January issue of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.
Goldin and his colleagues reviewed medical records from 39 patients with advanced colon cancer who underwent a procedure known as yttrium-90 microsphere radioembolization. This nonsurgical treatment, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, implants tiny radioactive beads near inoperable liver tumors.
Thirty of the patients were pretreated with the drug Avastin (bevacizumab) in periods ranging from less than three months to more than nine months before the radioactive beads were placed.
The liver is a common site for the spread of colorectal cancer, which, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is diagnosed in about 137,000 Americans and kills about 52,000 each year. Many of the liver tumors are inoperable, leaving doctors fewer choices to help prolong patients' lives.
Avastin is commonly prescribed for colon cancer that has spread ("metastatic" cancer) because the drug hinders the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors.
With the yttrium-90 procedure, which has been in use at major U.S. medical centers for more than a decade, a catheter is inserted into a small incision near the groin and threaded through arteries until it reaches the hepatic artery in the liver, where millions of microbeads are released near tumor sites. These beads emit high-dose radiation directly to cancerous cells, sparing damage to healthy cells.
Goldin's team found that almost 70 percent of the 17 patients with shorter intervals—less than three months—since their last Avastin dose before receiving the microbeads needed their microbead infusion stopped early due to slow blood flow near the tumors, a much higher number than patients whose last Avastin dose was further in the past. This was expected, Goldin said, because the main effect of Avastin is to cut tumors' blood supply.
Additionally, treatment with Avastin didn't increase the survival benefit of the microbeads, which added 10 to 12 months to patients' life spans compared to chemotherapy alone, Goldin said—a survival of 34.5 months after the diagnosis of metastatic colon cancer, compared with 24 months.
"If you look at those [survival] numbers, there's a promising benefit" to using microbead radiation, he said. But the cost of both treatments is high—in the tens of thousands of dollars per patient, he noted.
Dr. Felice Schnoll-Sussman, a gastroenterologist and director of research at the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, said the study won't change her clinical approach to treating metastatic colon cancer. But "it's important for us to try to tease through the different treatment recommendations and understand how one treatment affects another," she said.
"Maybe it helps you understand timing, which is never a terrible thing," she added. "This is the art of treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer—it's in the tweaking of the treatments."
More information: The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about metastatic cancer.
Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
- New Jefferson trial to test radiation-emitting beads against advanced liver cancer Feb 12, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Y-90 radioembolization offers promise for late-stage liver cancer Dec 14, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Interventional Radiology Y-90 Liver Cancer-busting Treatment: Safe, Fast, Extends Life Mar 28, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- 'Micro'-chemo and cancer pill combo tested in liver cancer patients Sep 30, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- EU approves Avastin for lung cancer Aug 24, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
2 hours ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Study leader, Professor John Mathews from the University of Melbourne said this small increase in cancer risk must be weighed against the undoubted benefits from CT scans in diagnosing and monitoring disease.
Cancer 17 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Cancer survivors are no more likely to stop smoking, cut down on alcohol, or exercise more often than the general population, according to new research published in the British Journal of Cancer today (Wednesday)
Cancer 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Beta-blockers, normally used for high blood pressure, could enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapies in treating neuroblastoma, a type of children's cancer, according to a new study published in the British Jo ...
Cancer 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A Japanese cancer specialist said Wednesday she has started the world's first clinical trial of a powerful, non-surgical, short-term radiation therapy for breast cancer.
Cancer 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Cancer 15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A report published today shows a 2.6% decrease in the amount of alcohol sold per adult in Scotland in the year following the introduction of the Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act in October 2011.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—High blood pressure is something that has traditionally been a problem in Scotland, but might there be a link to our climate?
50 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Health care spending is much higher for older Americans than for younger adults and children, on average, and analysts have said that increasing spending leads to longer life expectancy.
40 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The DESolve bioresorbable coronary scaffold system achieves good efficacy and safety with low rates of late lumen loss and major coronary adverse events at six months, show first results from the pivotal DESolve Nx trial ...
22 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
More than 40 percent of patients being treated for COPD at a federally funded clinic did not have the disease, researchers found after evaluating the patients with spirometry, the diagnostic "gold standard" for chronic obstructive ...
20 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Results from a large observational study reported at EuroPCR 2013 today question whether bivalirudin is superior to heparin in the absence of GPIIb/IIIa blockade, showing similar 30-day mortality in patients with non-ST segment ...
20 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0