Friday May 25, 2018

Whole-brain radiation technique to treat brain cancer causes memory loss: Study

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Washington: The widely used whole-brain radiation technique to treat brain cancer is not an effective strategy and results in more memory loss than treating patients with radiotherapy alone, study says.

First used in 1954, whole-brain radiation has long been a standard strategy for brain metastases (cancer cells that have spread to the brain from primary tumours in other organs in the body).

“The potential benefits of whole brain radiation therapy are far outweighed by the detriments of the therapy itself,” Paul Brown, professor of radiation oncology at the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Centre was quoted as saying in a Wall Street Journal report.

For the study, patients were assigned to either radiosurgery followed by whole-brain radiation or radiosurgery alone.

The research involved 213 patients, who had one to three small tumours or metastases in the brain.

Patients treated with both approaches performed significantly worse three months later on tests involving cognitive abilities.

Median overall survival was 7.5 months for those receiving both treatments and 10.7 months for those on radiosurgery alone.

Both whole-brain radiation and recurrent metastases are “bad for the brain.”

Lung cancer is the most common malignancy to spread to the brain, followed by breast cancer and melanoma.

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on May 31. (IANS)

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A Protein That Can Stop Cancer?

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The research showed that LHPP emerged as the top favourite. Pixabay

Researchers have discovered a protein that prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver.

The anti-cancer protein, called LHPP, can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer, said the study published in the journal Nature.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is usually diagnosed at a very late stage when the liver is already severely damaged and hence overall prognosis is poor.

ALSO READ: World Cancer Day special: Fight cancer with hope and positive attitude

The researchers believe that detection of the anti-cancer protein LHPP as a biomarker may allow clinicians to provide better treatment options.

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“It is striking that LHPP is present in healthy tissue and completely absent in tumour tissue,” said first author Sravanth Hindupur from University of Basel in Switzerland. Pixabay

 

In the study conducted in a mouse model for hepatocellular carcinoma, the researchers analyzed a total of more than 4,000 proteins, comparing them in healthy and tumour tissue.

ALSO READ: How gut bacteria, broccoli can help keep colorectal cancer away

Re-introduction of the genetic information for LHPP by the researchers was found to prevent the formation of tumours and maintain liver function.

“Similar to the mouse model, we also saw a striking decrease in LHPP levels in tumours of patients with liver cancer,” Hindupur said. (IANS)

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