Cinical trial to evaluate breakthrough breast cancer treatment

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center will host 20 medical experts from around the United States on Sept. 9 to prepare for a 3,000-patient phase III clinical trial that will evaluate a breakthrough breast cancer treatment.

The radiation oncologists, surgeons, a physicist and other experts will explore their early findings of patient outcomes with MammoSite RTS, a relatively new radiation delivery technology that dramatically reduces the entire radiation treatment process for patients who have had lumpectomies to remove breast tumors. Their findings will help to prepare for the phase III clinical trial, which is expected to open later this year.

Massey Cancer Center was the first in the mid-Atlantic region to use this treatment, which employs a balloon catheter to deliver radiation directly to breast tissue immediately surrounding the area where a tumor has been removed. Standard radiation treatment calls for treating the entire breast every day for six weeks. With MammoSite RTS, treatment is completed in just five days, increasing accessibility of radiation treatment and enabling women to get on with their lives sooner.

“This clinical trial could change the treatment course of breast cancer for years to come, and the decision making taking place in Richmond will be invaluable to the medical community and to women with breast cancer,” said Dr. Douglas W. Arthur, associate professor and vice-chairman, department of radiation oncology at the VCU Medical Center.

Participants will share data on catheter placement and management; outcomes; toxicity; improving treatment guidelines; determining which patients to treat and other matters critical to a safe and uniform treatment approach.

The group’s findings and recommendations will be presented at the 2004 national conference of radiation oncologists later this year.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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