Home Medizin Breast Cancer Now finanziert Forscher zur Erforschung einer gezielten Strahlentherapie bei metastasiertem Brustkrebs im Gehirn

Breast Cancer Now finanziert Forscher zur Erforschung einer gezielten Strahlentherapie bei metastasiertem Brustkrebs im Gehirn

von NFI Redaktion

Researchers are testing a new type of targeted radiotherapy for treating secondary breast cancer tumors in the brain, thanks to the new funding from Breast Cancer Now.

Image credit: Breast Cancer Now

Image credit: Breast Cancer Now

Secondary (or metastatic) breast cancer occurs when breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body. While the disease is incurable, it can be treated. However, treatment options are limited when the cancer has spread to the brain.

The most common treatment is whole-brain radiotherapy, which can cause severe side effects such as hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue, as healthy brain tissue receives the same radiation dose as the cancer.

Breast Cancer Now has awarded £173,414 to Dr. Matt Williams and his team at Imperial College London, who will investigate whether a type of targeted radiotherapy called DE-iPTV VMAT could be a more effective treatment for patients with secondary breast cancer.

This type of radiotherapy targets secondary breast cancer tumors in the brain while minimizing damage to healthy tissue, which is expected to cause fewer side effects for patients than whole-brain radiotherapy.

All participants in the clinical trial will receive this new type of radiotherapy so that researchers can assess its effects and impact on the patients‘ quality of life.

The team will also collect and analyze blood samples to determine who could benefit the most from this treatment.

In addition, Dr. Williams will use national cancer data to develop a more comprehensive understanding of people whose breast cancer has spread to the brain, analyzing patient survival rates and healthcare service utilization.

Currently, there are no official records of the number of people living with secondary breast cancer or their experiences with the disease. Developing a more comprehensive understanding of these patients would help scientists develop gentler and more cost-effective treatments, improving the quality of life for women.

The Imperial team hopes that using this data and the results of the initial study will help them plan a larger clinical trial to more thoroughly test the benefits of targeted radiotherapy treatment.

Dr. Matt Williams, a consultant clinical oncologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: „We have developed a radiotherapy method that increases the dose received by the brain tumors while reducing the dose to the rest of the brain.“

„This targeted approach should be more effective in treating people with secondary breast cancer in the brain than whole-brain radiotherapy and have fewer side effects. However, we need to determine if it is practical and effective for the patients.“

Each year in the UK, over 1,000 people with breast cancer receive radiotherapy for brain tumors. Most of them could benefit from targeted radiotherapy that reduces radiation to healthy brain tissue, improving the quality of life for those affected by the disease. With an estimated 61,000 people living with incurable secondary breast cancer in the UK, we hope our research can lead to more treatment options, giving people more time to enjoy their lives to the fullest.“

Dr. Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support, and Influence, Breast Cancer Now

Scott Henniker from Birchington in Kent lost his wife Hayley to secondary breast cancer in 2020. Hayley was diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer in 2014, and although she responded well to treatment, she received the devastating news that the breast cancer had spread to her brain in 2018.

Scott says: „Hayley underwent surgery to remove the tumor in her brain and recovered well. She was always so positive, and you wouldn’t have known she was unwell. However, the cancer returned and could be controlled for a while through radiotherapy, but by March 2020, Hayley’s condition deteriorated significantly, and unfortunately, she passed away in August with our two children and me by her side.“

Scott passionately supports research to find more targeted treatments for secondary breast cancer in the brain.

Scott says: „Hayley received local radiotherapy and whole-brain radiotherapy and experienced all kinds of distressing side effects. We watched as she gradually became a completely different person than the one we knew and loved, which was heartbreaking for our family. I support any research looking for more targeted and effective treatments for breast cancer that has spread to the brain so that fewer people lose their loved ones to this terrible disease.“

Breast Cancer Now is the research and support organization for anyone affected by breast cancer. Call the free hotline at 0808 800 6000 to speak with their experienced nurses or learn more and donate at breastcancernow.org

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