Low-grade brain cancer responds better to radiation therapy and chemotherapy

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Low-grade brain cancer responds better to radiation therapy and chemotherapy
Low-grade brain cancer responds better to radiation therapy and chemotherapy

Brain cancer is a devastating affliction. There have been aggressive efforts to improve survival of people who are suffering from brain cancer. Mayo Clinic reported, a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy improves survival in adults who are suffering from low-grade brain cancer.

Patients suffering from a low-grade type of brain tumor called glioma were studied. These patients were given radiation therapy along with a chemotherapy regimen. The chemotherapy regimen included procarbazine, lomustine and vincristine (PCV). These patients experienced a longer progression-free survival and overall survival than patients who were just given radiation therapy. Jan Buckner, M.D., the study’s lead author, says this is the first phase III trial which has demonstrated conclusively a treatment associated survival benefit for patients suffering from grade 2 glioma.

As was anticipated treatment toxicity was greater in the PCV chemotherapy arm and this was consistent with patients who have received multiagent chemotherapy regimens. The common toxicities found with this treatment included anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Dr. Buckner said the results indicated that initial radiation therapy followed by PCV is needed to achieve longer survival in patients suffering from grade 2 glioma. It is not as effective to give salvage therapy at relapse after radiation therapy is given.

This study has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Grade 2 gliomas are seen most often in young adults. This cancer causes progressive neurologic deterioration along with premature death.

This study showed that in patients suffering from grade 2 glioma who were less than than 40 years old and who had undergone subtotal tumor resection or who were 40 years old or older, progression-free survival and overall survival were better among those patients who were given combination chemotherapy and radiation therapy than among those patients who were just given radiation therapy. As the search continues for better prevention and treatment of gliomas these findings offer some promise for people who suffer from this type of brain cancer.

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Crystal Perry
Crystal Perry, MS, LMHC, LPC has been working in the clinical field for over a decade. She has helped to empower individuals to think critically and creatively to solve problems and help improve their lives. Perry has applied these clinical skills in multiple agencies with every population from infants to older adults. She has used these experience to be a state office expert mental health treatment. Her training in clinical practice and art therapy has afforded her the opportunity to understand all aspects of mental health and wellness.

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