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American Society for Radiation Oncology, Sept. 14-17

The 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology

The annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology was held from Sept. 14 to 17 in San Francisco and attracted approximately 11,000 participants from around the world, including physicians, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, biologists, physicists, and other cancer researchers. The conference featured educational courses focusing on radiation, surgical, and medical oncology.

In one study, Kimmen Quan, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and colleagues found that neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by stereotactic ablative radiation (SABR) is an attractive treatment option with very low toxicity for patients with locally-advanced pancreatic cancer.

"Forty percent of patients who completed the course of chemo and SABR proceeded to surgery, which is the only chance of cure. Of those who were offered surgery, 100 percent of borderline and 50 percent of locally-advanced patients received an R0 resection. CA19-9 decreased from a mean pretreatment value of 867 to 177 post SABR, which was a significant finding," said Quan.

The investigators also found that high-grade chemotherapy toxicities were low and SABR was well tolerated during the course of therapy. Local progression-free survival at one year was 100 and 86 percent for locally-advanced and borderline resectable patients, respectively. Median recurrence-free survival for locally-advanced and borderline resectable patients was 22.5 and 25.5 months, respectively.

"This regimen addresses potential microstatic disease early and allows us to deliver a potent radiation dose maximizing the chance for a curative resection," said Quan. "In the future, we will be looking at more active forms of chemotherapy (such as FOLFIRINOX), followed by the same paradigm of SABR and then surgery."

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In another study, Lawrence Berk, M.D., of the Morsani School of Medicine at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and colleagues found that Manuka honey does not prevent the development of radiation-induced esophagitis during chemoradiation for lung cancer.

"Research using natural products has the common problem that the active ingredients aren't known and different samples of the products, or in this case different honeys, may or may not be active. The best approach to resolving the activity of honey for radiation-induced esophagitis or mucositis of the oropharynx would be to test honeys that did prevent mucositis in other trials," said Berk. "Honey cannot as of yet be definitively said to be useful for mucositis or esophagitis."

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Rahul R. Parikh, M.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues found that patients with stage I and II Hodgkin's disease who received consolidated radiation therapy (RT) had a higher 10-year survival rate than those who did not receive RT. However, despite this survival benefit, the investigators also found that the utilization of RT for patients with early-stage Hodgkin's disease decreased between 1998 and 2011. Patients less likely to receive RT included uninsured patients, those being treated in academic/research facilities, and patients with lower education.

"We have identified specific factors associated with underutilization of RT, which may be targeted to improve patient access to care, including socioeconomic factors, insurance status, and facility type," said Parikh. "In current and future prospective clinical trials for early-stage Hodgkin's disease, we recommend that consolidation RT remain standard practice within the combined modality therapy program."

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ASTRO: Sexual Function Largely Retained in Prostate CA Combo Tx

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with prostate cancer, combination beam plus brachytherapy does not compromise long-term sexual function compared with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held from Sept. 14 to 18 in San Francisco.

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ASTRO: Radiotherapy Improves Dysphagia in Esophageal Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced esophageal cancer, dysphagia is improved with radiotherapy alone, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held from Sept. 14 to 18 in San Francisco.

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ASTRO: QoL Up With Testosterone Recovery in Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with high-risk prostate cancer, testosterone recovery is shorter for patients receiving 18 months versus 36 months of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and is associated with improved quality of life, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held from Sept. 14 to 18 in San Francisco.

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ASTRO: Chest Radiation May Help Fight Some Advanced Lung Cancers

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Adding chest radiation to chemotherapy allows some people with small-cell lung cancer to live longer and cuts recurrence rates by nearly 50 percent, European researchers report. The research was published online Sept. 14 in The Lancet to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held from Sept. 14 to 18 in San Francisco.

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