Today's Medical News From Newspapers, TV, Radio and the Journals.
Customized Briefing for Dr. Jarir Nakouzi Monday, September 22, 2008
Health and Diet Study suggests whole brain radiation may shorten survival, increase memory problems.
HealthDay (9/23, Edelson) reported that "the common practice of adding whole brain radiation to more focused radiation treatment for cancers that have spread to the brain not only caused greater learning and memory problems, but also was associated with a shorter survival time," according to a study presented Sept. 22 at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology annual meeting. Eric L. Chang, M.D., of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues, "compared results of treatment for 58 patients with one or more brain metastases -- who got either sterotactic radiosurgery alone, or accompanied by whole brain radiation." The researchers found that "patients who received both therapies had a 49 percent decline in learning and memory function at four months, compared to those who had stereotactic radiosurgery alone. Their mental function decreased by an average of 23 percent." The data also showed that "survival time for those getting the single treatment was 15.2 months, compared to 5.6 months for those getting the combined therapy."