Patients with cancer that has spread to other parts of the body now have hope for a longer survival, according to a new study. And local doctors agree wholeheartedly.
Doctors in the Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute have been using this device, called a linear accelerator, to deliver high-precision radiation, to treat different types of tumors for the last three years. It’s soon going to be used a lot more, specifically for patients whose original cancer has spread.
Stage four refers to a patient whose cancer has spread from its original location to a different part or parts of the body. The reason, the results from a European study, that found stage four cancer patients that were given a series of treatments with high-precision radiation on those secondary tumor sites, followed by a second round of chemo, survived a lot longer than those that didn’t receive that treatment regimen.
“But what’s exciting is that the role of radiation therapy was not expected to play such a big part, this study proves there is a proven benefit to this,” says Dr. Chance Matthiesen.
Dr. Chance Matthiesen, Medical Director of the Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute, says this will alter the way these types of patients are treated from now on.
“Now we have evidence based proof that being very aggressive with this patient population means they live longer and the average survival was 42 months,” says Dr. Matthiesen.
But that’s just the average, he says some of the patients survived even longer than that.