About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

How a Patient's Lying Position in Radiotherapy can Affect Survival

by Adeline Dorcas on April 23, 2018 at 2:13 PM
Font : A-A+

How a Patient's Lying Position in Radiotherapy can Affect Survival

The minute difference in the patient's lying position during radiotherapy treatment for lung or oesophageal cancer can be linked to increase survival chances, according to a new study presented at the ESTRO 37 conference.

These differences of only a few millimeters can mean that the radiation treatment designed to target patients' tumors can move fractionally closer to the heart, where it can cause unintentional damage and reduce survival chances.

Advertisement


The finding suggests that survival could be improved by tightening up treatment guidelines to ensure patients are positioned more accurately.

Radiotherapy plays an important role in cancer care in, amongst others, hard to treat tumors such as lung and oesophageal cancer. However, it can cause side-effects, and previous research shows that radiotherapy to the chest can have negative long-term effects on the heart, for example, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Advertisement

When planning radiotherapy treatment, cancer specialists create a CT image of their patient. This reveals the exact position and size of a tumor within the body. At each subsequent treatment, another image is created and used to check that the patient and, therefore, the tumor is in the same position, within a certain threshold, before the treatment is delivered.

The new research was presented by Corinne Johnson, a medical physics Ph.D. student at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, part of the Christie NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Manchester, UK.

She and her colleagues studied a group of 780 patients with non-small cell lung cancer who were treated with radiotherapy. For each treatment, patients were positioned on the treatment machine, and an image was taken to confirm that they lay within 5mm of their original position. They used the data from these images to gauge how accurately the radiotherapy dose was delivered over the course of treatment, and whether it was shifted slightly closer or slightly further away from the patient's heart.

When they compared these data with how likely patients were to survive, they found that patients with slight shifts towards their hearts were around 30 per cent more likely to die than those with similar sized shifts away from their hearts.

When they repeated the research with a group of 177 oesophageal cancer patients, they found an even greater difference of around 50 per cent. In both groups, the pattern of survival remained even when researchers took other factors such as the patient's age into account.

Johnson explains: "We already know that using imaging can help us to target cancers much more precisely and make radiotherapy treatment more effective."

"This study examines how small differences in how a patient is lying can affect survival, even when an imaging protocol is used. It tells us that even very small remaining errors can have a major impact on patients' survival chances, particularly when tumors are close to a vital organ like the heart."

"By imaging patients more frequently and by reducing the threshold on the accuracy of their position, we can help lower the dose of radiation that reaches the heart and avoid unnecessary damage."

Johnson and her colleagues are now looking at the data in more detail to see whether particular regions of the heart are more sensitive to radiation than others, and they hope to investigate the effect of differences in patient position in other types of cancer.

President of ESTRO, Professor Yolande Lievens, head of the department of radiation oncology at Ghent University Hospital, Belgium, said: "Radiotherapy treatments are given according to strict protocols to ensure that patients get the most effective treatment with the fewest possible side-effects. This research suggests that changes to lung and oesophageal cancer protocols could positively impact the overall survival of patients with these cancers, both of which have relatively high mortality rates."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
January is the Thyroid Awareness Month in 2022
Menstrual Disorders
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Radiotherapy Hodgkins Lymphoma Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Rhabdomyosarcoma Male Breast Cancer External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer Acute Coronary Syndrome Radiosurgery 

Recommended Reading
Radiotherapy
A detailed account of radiation, its mode of action, side effects and dosage in the treatment of ......
Role of Radiotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer
A higher dose of radiotherapy can improve survival in pancreatic cancer patients, finds a new ......
Mechanism of Tumorís Resistance to Radiotherapy Identified
The mechanism of how tumors grow resistant to radiotherapy has been identified by recent research .....
Clinicians can Now Predict Ill-Effects of Radiotherapy More Accurately
Thanks to a pilot study which might help identify those at higher risk, clinicians can now predict ....
Acute Coronary Syndrome
Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a sudden, acute life-threatening condition caused by a dramatic red...
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Find out more about the degenerative disease- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis....
External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer
In depth information about various types of external beam radiotherapy for treatment of prostate can...
Hodgkins Lymphoma
Hodgkins lymphoma or Hodgkins disease has the distinction of being the first cancer to be cured by c...
Male Breast Cancer
Most cases of male breast cancer are diagnosed between the ages of 60 and 70 years. Treatment of mal...
Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
Non Hodgkins Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymph tissues. It is made up of a wide array of ....
Radiosurgery
Radiosurgery, also called Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), is a procedure that uses a beam of radiat...
Rhabdomyosarcoma
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare type of cancer affecting the striated muscles. It mostly occurs in ......

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)