CHICAGO, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that laser treatment designed to destroy the aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma can add an average of two months to a patient's life, compared with chemotherapy, the standard treatment for the cancer that has recurred.
The researchers gathered survival data by reviewing all laser treatments for glioblastoma from 2010 to 2016. In that time, 54 patients received 58 laser treatments. Of those, 17 treatments were performed on inoperable tumors and 41 on tumors that had recurred after primary treatment.
They found that patients with recurrent disease lived an average of 11.5 months after receiving laser therapy. Other studies have found that treatment with the chemotherapy drugs bevacizumab or temozolomide typically buys glioblastoma patients about nine months.
Moreover, most people who received laser therapy were able to leave the hospital within a day or two.
"We're not able to cure these types of really nefarious tumors, but we keep on working on finding new treatments that give people just a little more time," said senior author Eric Leuthardt, a professor of neurosurgery, neuroscience, biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering and applied science. "We're nibbling away at this disease, step by step, and cumulatively these small advances can add up to a real improvement for patients."
The study was published August 22 in the journal Neurosurgery.