Jul 16, 2004 - 2:52 am
Future Possibilities of Chemosensitivity Testing for Brain Tumors
Computer-assisted techniques, endoscopic methods and microsurgical robots will allow surgical removal of tumors to be even less invasive than it is at present. Radiation sensitizers- drugs which are incorporated into tumor cells may increase the efficacy of lower doses of radiation and reducing the short and long term side effects of radiation therapy.
Stereotactic methods will make the delivery of radiation therapy to a defined tumor volume more precise. Direct interstitial delivery systems for chemotherapy may increase the efficacy and reduce the side effects. In vitro testing methods of chemotherapeutic agents against living cells cultured from a tumor sample may allow physicians to select specific chemotherapy agents for a specific tumor.
In theory, this is similar to antibiotic sensitivity testing in bacterial cultures when treating infections. These methods have been tried with only a few reporting success. However, new technological breakthroughs may improve the reliability of chemosensitivity testing method.
Immunotherapy trials in which conditioned "killer cells" - lymphocytes injected into a tumor selectively find and destroy tumor cells have shown modest improvements in patient survival. They are now investigating gene therapy for brain tumors. Here genetically engineered material is carried to a tumor cell by a viral vector which "infects" the tumor cell and transforms it into a normal cells, stops its ability to move or grow or even kills it.
Clearly, the cure of brain tumors will depend on a basic understanding of tumor cells at a molecular level. Studies of the genetic make-up of tumor cells will lead to a better understanding of intracellular and external mechanisms that determine the maturation, function, life and death of any cell. These investigations will allow manipulation in the functions of any cell and will lead to exciting new therapies for cancer in general and brain tumors in particular.
Listing of "Reputable" Labs
Analytical Biosystems, Inc., Providence, Rhode Island. Ken Blackman, PhD. Solid Tumors Only. 1-800-262-6520
Anticancer, Inc., San Diego, CA. Robert Hoffman, PhD. Solid Tumors Only. 1-619-654-2555
Oncotech, Inc., Irvine, CA. John Fruehauf, MD. Solid Tumors and Hematologics. 1-714-474-9262 / FAX 1-714-474-8147
Sylvester Cancer Institute, Miami, FL. Bernd-Uwe Sevin, MD. Solid Tumors Only. (especially GYN). 1-305-547-6875
Human Tumor Cloning Laboratory, San Antonio, TX. Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD. Solid Tumors Only. 1-210-677-3827
Rational Therapeutics Institute, Long Beach, CA. Robert A. Nagourney, MD Solid Tumors and Hematologics. 562-989-6455 http://www.rational-t.com/
DiaTech Oncology, Brentwood, TN. Vladimir D. Kravtsov, MD, PhD Medical Director 1-615-294-9033
Weisenthal Cancer Group, Huntington Beach, CA. Larry M. Weisenthal, MD, PhD. Solid Tumors and Hematologics. 1-714-894-0011 / FAX 1-714-893-3659 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org