|CANCER & TREATMENTS FOR CANCER CENTER PATIENTS PREVENTION & RISK ASSESSMENT CLINICAL TRIALS & RESEARCH LIVING WITH CANCER|
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Michigan Oncology Journal Fall 1998
Advancements in Clinical and Basic Science Research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Contents:From the Editor
Laurence H. Baker, D.O.
Assistant EditorMaria McKinney White
Marketing and Public Relations
From the Editor
Radiation oncology is a clinical and scientific endeavor devoted to the management of patients with cancer (and other neoplasms) by ionizing radiation alone or in combination with other modalities and the investigation of the application of radiation therapy. The aim of radiation therapy is to deliver a precisely measured dose of radiation to a defined tumor volume with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue, resulting in eradication of the tumor and a high quality of life. This definition and principle are clearly demonstrated in this issue of the Michigan Oncology Journal, highlighting the radiation oncology program at the University of Michigan Cancer Center.
Drs. Lichter and Pierce have written an essay on one of the current controversies facing oncologists treating women with breast cancer. It used to be said to patients that they could choose between lumpectomy and radiation therapy or modified radical mastectomy. Now, the evidence to provide radiation therapy to women who have had a mastectomy and have four or more nodes is compelling. Most radiation oncologists argue that the evidence is clear for women with one to four nodes.
Drs. Sandler and McLaughlin highlight the program's initiatives in delivering radiation therapy to men with prostate cancer. The role of radiation therapy in early prostate cancer is clear; which type of therapy can deliver the greatest dose to the tumor while sparing the normal tissues is being investigated.
Conformal radiation is not only being studied in prostate cancer but also in intrahepatic malignancies. Drs. McGinn and Lawrence define the role that radiation can play in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma. In this setting, external beam irradiation is combined with hepatic arterial chemotherapy.
Dr. Eisbruch describes the advances in radiation treatment for head and neck cancer. These advances focus on improving the effectiveness of radiation, such as the changes in the fractionation scheme and the combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Improvement in quality of life has been clearly demonstrated in the laryngeal preservation study and now is being extended to other sites in the head and neck region. Dr. Eisbruch himself is contributing to this quality of life effort by his studies to reduce radiation-associated xerostomia.