Study investigates impact of radiation on pediatric brain tumors

A study is underway in South Florida that researchers hope will improve radiation treatment for children and young adults with brain tumors.

KENDALL, Fla. – A study is underway in South Florida that researchers hope will improve radiation treatment for children and young adults with brain tumors.

The investigation at Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute is looking at ways to optimize outcomes and reduce risks for pediatric patients from newborns to age 21.

“We are looking at the children with M.R.I. to assess their brain and to assess the normal organs in the brain both at baseline and then during follow up out to five years beyond radiation treatment, and we anticipate that as more radiation is given to certain brain substructures -- such as the hippocampus which is responsible for memory or perhaps another area of the brain that is responsible for emotions or attention -- that we may be able to see anatomic changes, shrinkage or atrophy in certain sections of the brain and we might use this to predict who’s going to be affected by radiation and who might not be,” said radiation oncologist Dr. Matthew Hall.

Hall said approximately 12,000 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer every year and around 60 percent will need radiation for their treatment.

Also in today’s health news, a surgical team with the National Institutes of Health have successfully implanted a patch of tissue made from patient stem cells as a potential treatment for advanced “dry” age-related macular degeneration, or A.M.D.

Dry A.M.D. is the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans and currently has no treatment.

The surgery is the culmination of 10 years of research and development.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.