Study provides new details about therapy-associated polyposis in childhood cancer survivors
"In the long term, having radiation before surgery lowers the chance of side effects like swelling, joint stiffness and fibrosis, that are big contributors to quality of life," Kalbasi said. "But this comes at a trade-off with a higher rate of wound complications immediately after surgery. The good news is that our five-day treatment did not increase the chance for wound issues after surgery compared to the conventional five-week treatment."
Not only did the researchers find that wound complications were virtually the same for the two therapies, but they also identified a new set of biomarkers that could indicate how likely someone will be to encounter significant wound complications.
By using a DNA swab from each participant to test for mutations, the team found that they could identify microRNA-disrupting genetic biomarkers that are associated with the risk of wound complications.
"We know from experience that different patients respond to the same amount of radiation in different ways, and we have always believed that it is due to the patient's personal response to radiation," said study co-author Dr. Joanne Weidhaas, a professor of radiation oncology and director of translational research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, who led the biomarker studies. "This type of biomarker lets us know up front who may or may not have a high risk of wound complications, and can potentially help us determine the best type of treatment to offer for patients. Having this information upfront is a big advantage, which can really advance personalized medicine."
In the two years since the study began, the team also noticed a rapid rise in the number of patients coming to UCLA, a high-volume sarcoma center, for radiation treatment before surgery. Nearly half of the study participants traveled more than 100 miles to UCLA for radiation treatment. Past studies have shown treating sarcomas at a high-volume center with the expertise of a multidisciplinary sarcoma team is associated with improved outcomes.
The five-day radiation therapy regimen may not only preferred by people undergoing the treatment, but it will also result in more people having access to care at high-volume centers that specialize in treating such a rare cancer, Kalbasi said.
To further validate the study's findings, the team plans to continue to follow the cohort for at least five years to see if, in terms of cancer control and longer-term side effects, the five-day radiation treatment continues to be just as safe and effective as the traditional five-week treatment. The team has also expanded the clinical trial to include patients who are also receiving chemotherapy before surgery. Source:
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences Journal reference:
Kalbasi, A, et al. (2020) A Phase 2 Trial of Five-Day Neoadjuvant Radiation Therapy for Patients with High-Risk Primary Soft Tissue Sarcoma. Clinical Cancer Research . doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3524 .
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