Oncology Round-Up: Celiac Plexus Radiosurgery, Heart Rate Variability, and More

Preliminary Examination of Celiac Plexus Radiosurgery for Cancer-Related Pain Reduction

According to an article, published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, there is a need to improve contemporary approaches in palliative care of patients with refractory epigastric or mid-back pain associated with locally advanced abdominal malignancies, especially pancreatic cancer. The researchers, led by Liat Hammer, evaluated ablative radiation therapy targeted at the celiac plexus to alleviate this pain, and reported that “Celiac plexus radiosurgery appears to alleviate cancer-related pain.

Heart Rate Variability Parameters for Predicting Survival in Lung Cancer With Brain Metastases

In an article, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, researchers sought to uncover associations between heart rate variability (HRV) and overall survival (OS) in patients with lung cancer with brain metastases (LCBM). The study’s co-lead authors, Shuang Wu and Guangqiao Li, reported that decreased root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD)—one of the time parameters of HRV assessed in the study—was independently associated with shorter survival time in patients with LCBM.

Constructing a Planning Model for Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy in the Treatment of Breast Cancer

Researchers from the Department of Medical Physics at Instituto Zunino – Fundación Marie Curie in Córdoba, Argentina, set out to construct a knowledge-based volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) planning model to enable the treatment of breast cancer without lymph node irradiation. Their article, published in the Journal of Medical Physics, reported that they successfully implemented two RapidPlan™ (RP) models for breast cancer treatment that reduced planning time and improved treatment planning efficiency while ensuring high-quality treatment plans.

Biomarkers for Targeted Inhibitors in CMS4 KRAS-Mutated Colorectal Cancers

Over half of colorectal cancers (CRCs) are wired to RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway oncogenic signaling; However, the activity of therapeutic inhibitors targeted at this pathway has been “disappointing,” according to Mingli Yang and colleagues. They investigated MEK inhibition (MEKi)-associated resistance signaling, and CRC subpopulations that may be sensitive to biomarker-informed treatment regimens. In their study, published in BMC Cancer, the team “identified SRC as a common targetable node—an Achilles’ heel—in MEKi-targeted therapy-associated resistance in mesenchymal stem-like CRCs, which may help development of a biomarker-driven drug combination (MEKi + SRCi) to treat problematic subpopulations of CRC.”