Human trials start on new liver cancer treatment
Researchers have started human trials on a new way to treat an advanced form of liver cancer, a published report said Monday. ( dpa )
Doctors at Singapore's National Cancer Centre (NCC) said that the method is a combination of existing treatments including the injection of a radioactive particle into the tumour to help patients with cancers that are too advanced for surgery.
The centre is holding the trial with other hospitals in the Asia- Pacific region.
"We're trying to find a better way to treat this dismal disease that is inoperable liver cancer," The Straits Times quoted NCC Director Soo Khee Chee as saying.
Doctors implant a tiny radioactive particle into the tumour to shrink the cancerous growth during an operation at Singapore General Hospital, Soo said.
About two weeks later, patients start taking a pill called sorafenib. Studies have shown that the drug has extended the lives of patients by an average of three months, the report said.
By combining the two treatments, doctors said they hope to prolong the lives of patients or improve their condition so that they can undergo surgery.
The trial, involving 31 patients, is expected to take two years. If it is successful, the centre and other hospitals will carry out a larger trial involving several hundred patients.
Each year, 393 people are diagnosed with liver cancer in the city- state.