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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Radiation Oncologists From University Of Pittsburgh Present Findings At Annual Meeting Of The American Society For Therapeutic Radiology And Oncology, Nov. 5 - 9

PHILADELPHIA, November 6, 2006 — Radiation oncologists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine will present findings from 12 studies at the 48th annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) being held Nov. 5 to 9 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia.

Highlights of the findings include:

INTEGRATED APPROACH TO INTENSITY-MODULATED RADIATION THERAPY PROVIDES QUALITY CARE FOR CANCER PATIENTS

Results from a University of Pittsburgh study demonstrate that intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can be uniformly delivered in a large health care system of academic and community cancer centers through a centralized planning and treatment process. According to study results, there were no significant differences in toxicity profiles and recommended radiation dose prescriptions in 758 prostate cancer patients treated with IMRT at 12 separate community cancer centers and one academic flagship facility.

GENE THERAPY GIVEN INTRAVENOUSLY PROTECTS NORMAL TISSUE OF MICE DURING WHOLE-BODY RADIATION EXPOSURE

Gene therapy administered intravenously could be used as an agent to protect vital organs and tissues from the effects of ionizing radiation in the event of large-scale exposure from a radiological or nuclear bomb. In the study, mice were used to test the protective effects of manganese superoxide dismutase plasmid liposome (MnSOD-PL) gene therapy on the bone marrow during whole-body irradiation. The study found that as the level of radiation exposure was increased, survival rates in the mice injected with MnSOD-PL prior to exposure increased significantly.

INTENSITY-MODULATED RADIATION THERAPY HELPS REDUCE SIDE EFFECTS FOR CERVICAL CANCER PATIENTS

Administering extended-field intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for cervical cancer resulted in significantly reduced side effects and outcomes comparable to standard radiotherapy. In the study, 36 patients with cervical cancer were treated with extended-field IMRT and the chemotherapy agent cisplatin to determine the efficacy of treatment and treatment-related side effects. Researchers found that by using extended-field IMRT and chemotherapy, they were able to effectively reduce the toxic effects of treatment, allowing them to administer optimal doses of radiotherapy.

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