Posts in "brachytherapy/"
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Prostate cancer answers start here

Written by Community Health Network on 6/28/2014 6:00:00 AM

Dr. Jianan Graybill is a radiation oncologist and MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician.

There are only a few cancer centers in the country that offer high dose rate brachytherapy. Community Cancer Care is one of them.

Commonly called HDR brachytherapy, this cancer treatment is a form of temporary seed implant used to treat prostate cancer. It is the ultimate conformal therapy.

“HDR Brachytherapy has the ability to shape the radiation dose to fit the (prostate) tumor and avoid normal tissue,” said Graybill.

HDR brachytherapy can be used alone or in combination with other treatment modalities, such as external beam radiation. Guidelines from American Brachytherapy Society recommend that HDR brachytherapy be considered as a way to escalate the dose of radiation in men receiving radiation therapy as their primary therapy for prostate cancer. continue reading ...


Cervical cancer breakthrough

Written by Community Health Network on 6/13/2014 11:30:00 AM

Two women with cervical cancer who went through immunotherapy are now in remission.

For Arrica Wallace, age 37, of Manhattan, Kansas, her diagnosis with stage III cervical cancer in 2011 was a shock. She had gone for regular Pap smears and all her tests had been normal. Cervical cancer is typically caused by the HPV virus and transforms normal cells into fast growing tumor cells - often caught in a Pap smear.

The mother of two shared her story with NBC News, “In all, I had 32 rounds of chemo, I had 25 days of radiation and I also had brachytherapy, internal radiation treatment before the trial treatment,” Wallace said. “My doctors … were pretty aggressive because I was young and healthy enough to handle the treatment side-effects.”

Yet after all that, the cancer prognosis was not good.

Christian Hinrichs, MD, National Cancer Institute recruited Arrica Wallace to be part of a small cancer immunotherapy trial. Through a new approach, Henrichs and his colleagues find T-cells and amplifies the body’s own immune response to cancer. T-cells are important because if we have enough of them our body can control the cancer. Immunotherapy enlarges the impact of T-cells and in this trial helped a third of the patients and two patients, Arrica being one, experienced remission.

National Cancer Institute team says the results are really startling.

Dr. Hinrich added that, “It’s possible this approach may work against other cancers caused by HPV, including head and neck cancer. NIH researchers are recruiting patients now for relevant trials.

Read the full story >>

Source: Presented by Dr. Hinrichs at ASCO May 3,1 2014 and covered by NBC News 


Radiation therapy: Zeroing in on cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 2/8/2014 10:30:00 AM

This is the first blog in a three-part interview series with Dr. Chandrika Patel, radiation oncologist. She is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology and a MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician at Community Regional Cancer Center - East.

What is radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy is treatment where beams of high-energy rays are used to target and destroy cancer cells. Radiation oncologists specialize in treating cancer patients with it. Radiation therapy is not like chemotherapy. Radiation treats just the tumor. Chemo uses drugs to treat the whole body.

Because of the precision and versatility with which these treatments are delivered, over 66 percent of cancer patients will have some form of radiotherapy as part of their treatment. It may be given at different times in cancer treatment, dependent upon the cancer type. Sometimes it is used to shrink a tumor, or used after a surgery to kill areas the surgery missed.

Are there different types of radiation therapy?

Depending on the type of cancer you have, you may be treated with high-dose rate (HDR) radiotherapy. This treatment uses higher amounts of radiation than in typical radiation therapy. The radiation is directed precisely at the tumor to avoid damaging healthy tissue, with the advantage that it may kill more cancer cells in fewer treatments.

In contrast, low dose rate radiation brachytherapy, is a different way to deliver radiation. Low dose radiation is commonly used for prostate cancer treatments, and involves implanting a radioactive “seed” in the body permanently to damage the cancer cells. This allows application of a higher dose of radiation for a shorter period of time to a small area. continue reading ...


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