Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine is participating in a landmark clinical trial of a new radiation treatment for patients with glioblastoma multiform, a brain cancer with a high mortality rate.
After the tumor is removed, a high, focused dose of radiation is delivered directly to the tumor cavity to kill any microscopic cancer cells left behind. The treatment is called intraoperative radiotherapy, or IORT. (Intraoperative means during surgery.)
Loyola Medicine is the only center in Illinois participating in the international multicenter study. Loyola also is using IORT to treat a broad range of other cancers in clinical trials or as part of standard treatment. These cancers include breast, gynecological, head and neck, pancreatic, colorectal and bone cancers.
Glioblastoma is among the cancers with the highest mortality rates because in most patients, the cancer comes back after treatment. For patients ages 55 to 64, for example, the five-year survival rate is only 5 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. The standard treatment consists of surgery to remove as much of the tumor as can be done safely, followed by chemotherapy and 30 radiation sessions.
The study will determine whether IORT plus standard treatment for glioblastoma is more effective than standard treatment alone in preventing tumor regrowth. Fifty percent of the patients in the study will be randomly assigned to receive standard therapy. The other half will receive standard therapy plus IORT.
IORT is a multidisciplinary treatment that involves specialists including a neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist and medical physicist. Prior to surgery, the radiation oncologist and medical physicist perform detailed calculations to determine the precise radiation dose. After the neurosurgeon has removed the tumor, a spherical radiation device is placed in the tumor cavity. The device is turned on and x-ray radiation is applied for approximately 30 to 100 minutes. Because the radiation does not have to travel through healthy brain tissue to reach the site, much higher doses can be safely applied.
The study is known as a prospective, randomized, two-arm, open-label Phase 3 clinical trial. Radiation oncologist Abhishek Solanki, MD, is principal investigator for the Loyola site.
The study sponsor is University Medical Center Mannheim in Germany. It's titled, "A Multicenter, Randomized Phase III Study on Intraoperative Radiotherapy in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme (INTAGO II)."
The study is open to glioblastoma patients aged 18 to 80 who meet certain other criteria. For more information, contact Beth Chiappetta, RN, Loyola radiation oncology research coordinator, at 708-216-2568 or email@example.com.