15th December 09:54
INTENSE THERAPY BEATS HEAD CANCER (laryngeal)
Intense therapy beats head cancer
Saturday, September 20, 2003
The patients all received the same amount of radiotherapy
Short, intense courses of radiotherapy are more effective
in treating head and neck cancer, scientists have found.
Giving patients six sessions a week instead of five
improved the management of their tumours.
In addition, patients with laryngeal cancer were more
likely to conserve their voices if they had the faster
The study of almost 1,500 patients was presented to the
European Cancer Conference in Copenhagen.
These findings are unequivocal
Dr Jens Overgaard, Aarhus University Scientists from the
Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark, gave
patients either five or six sessions per week,
administering the same dose overall to each patient.
When patients were examined five years after the
treatment, it was found tumours were better controlled in
those who had received six treatments per week.
Accelerated radiotherapy was also linked to a small
increase in survival rates compared with those given five
treatments per week.
Patients were more likely to be ill if they were given
the more intensive course of treatment, although they
'No shades of grey'
Professor Jens Overgaard said: "Although all patients in
the accelerated treatment arm did better, some did better
than others, and we are currently trying to identify
those groups where the benefit is largest. "
But he said there was no doubt about the benefits of the
more intensive treatment: "There are no shades of grey.
"These findings are unequivocal - accelerated treatment
is definitely better in this cancer, both in terms of
disease-specific survival and in quality of life."
Professor Michele Saunders of Cancer Research UK said:
"This accelerated radiotherapy protocol is already being
used in the UK and will be the subject of a randomised
controlled trial to be organised by the National Cancer
The research is published in The Lancet.
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16th December 22:08
INTENSE THERAPY BEATS HEAD CANCER
And with good reason. Often, significant results mean a maximum P value of
0.05. This means that there is still a 1 in 20 chance of achieving the same
or more extreme data sets by chance without there being a real difference.
So, any study that shows significant results still need to be validated to
exclude - as much as possible - chance effects.
Can't you see?
It all makes perfect sense,
expressed in dollars and cents, pounds, shillings and pence
24th January 08:56
INTENSE THERAPY BEATS HEAD CANCER (stroke)
And particularly when the result is not conducive to the comfort of
radiation medicine specialists, who didn't enter the field to work
weekends. Do you know what effort has already gone in to "showing"
that 5 days a week radiotherapy is just as good as 6 and 7 ?? A lot!
So this "accelerated radiotherapy" result, if it holds, is a true
disaster in the field, a mighty smelly brown thingy in the punch bowl.
Things haven't been this bad since they started telling neurologists
they had to come in from Sunday golf in order to see stroke patients
for the new emergency clot-busting. "Say WHAT??" the whole profession
25th January 02:42
INTENSE THERAPY BEATS HEAD CANCER (tumor)
In article <email@example.com>,
firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve Harris sbharris@ROMAN9.netcom.com)
Heh heh. Or since radiologists working at some trauma centers were told
that they had to take in-house call to read trauma films at night and on
weekends and couldn't just leave the initial "wet" readings to
residents. Or since AIDS turned infectious disease specialists (who,
back before the mid-1980's usually had a very cushy consultant role)
into de facto primary care doctors for AIDS patients, with all the
attendant headaches that come with being primary care doctors to a group
of sick patients. Now if we could only find a treatment that would
require dermatologists to come in on nights or weekends. ;-)
But all joking aside, radiation oncologists have always had to deal with
the occasional emergency that required night or weekend treatment, such
as spinal cord compression by tumor with neurologic deficit or superior
vena cava syndrome from obstruction of the superior vena cava with
tumor. There is also a a fairly large developing literature on
hyperfractionated radiation therapy, which requires even more frequent
small doses seven days a week; so it's not as if they haven't been
studying treatments that might disturb their weekends...
Orac |"A statement of fact cannot be insolent."
|"If you cannot listen to the answers, why do you
| inconvenience me with questions?"
25th January 19:46
INTENSE THERAPY BEATS HEAD CANCER (oncology)
My god, don't radiation oncologists get a lot of mileage out of cord
compression by tumor and superior vena cava syndrome. These are rare
enough to be good trivia quiv for student docs (what are the only true
radiation oncology emergencies..). But ask a rad onc guy to honestly
tell you if he personally has ever had to come in on a weekend to
treat a case, and you'll get an embarrassed "no." Or "yeah.... once in
my training." They saw it because as a *fellow* or whatever, they had
to come in and do it <G>.
As for hyperfractionated dose therapy, don't tout it until you see how
it's done. Some is 7 days a week, but a good fraction of the studies
are twice a day for 5 days a week. Guess which 5?
25th January 19:46
INTENSE THERAPY BEATS HEAD CANCER (cancer)
About 10% of the common cancer get spinal cord compression, or threatened
compression at some time..
Happens to me 5-6 times per year
I think you have an attitude, based on very few facts..
26th January 22:59
INTENSE THERAPY BEATS HEAD CANCER
Sun, 28 Sep 2003 00:21:04 GMT in article
<Oracemail@example.com> Orac <Orac@wabcmail.com>
Is that so? IMHO Dr. Harris (who unlike most of the other MDs or "MD"s in the
usenet has the honesty and courage to write with his own name) has been
sticking to subject with his usual colorful and witty style, and backing his
statements with evidence, while your latest comment is sadly devoid of facts.
Prove him wrong, if you can, instead of resorting to ad hominem.