Early Use of Chemotherapy Shows Promise Against Brain Cancer
In what's being described as the first major advance against brain cancer in decades, researchers report that early, low doses of the chemotherapy drug Temodar seem to substantially improve short-term survival in patients with the most aggressive and common form of the disease.
The study used the drug to treat the brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme. Whether the therapy will help cure brain cancer has yet to be determined. But administering low doses at the very start -- for six or seven weeks during and after radiation -- doubles the chance of being alive two years later, the Associated Press reported.
"This is the first trial that has been clearly positive in brain cancer in 30 years," said Dr. M.J. van den Bent of the Daniel den Hoed Oncology Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. "This is a great day."
Several doctors are now predicting that Temodar will become the new standard of care for brain cancer patients, the AP said. "To be able to tell people they may have two or three years of survival rather than nine months is pretty major," said Dr. Adam Mamelak of City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., who was not involved in the study.
The study was presented June 7 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in New Orleans. It was carried out at more than 80 hospitals in Europe, Canada and Australia, the news service said.
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