The ability to detect cancer at ever earlier stages using advances in blood and other testing will combine with the coming ability to grow replacement organs to provide a better method for treating some forms of cancer: organ replacement.
Alexandria, VA-In the first national study to examine survival among liver transplant patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), researchers found excellent five-year survival results, with a steady improvement over the last decade. Hepatocellular carcinoma, also known as hepatoma, or cancer of the liver, is a common cancer worldwide, with more than one million new cases diagnosed each year and a median life expectancy of six to nine months. Most hepatoma patients have cirrhosis, a risk factor of hepatoma, and are inoperable because of tumor size, location or severity of underlying liver disease. Results of this study will be reported online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology."This study shows that we can achieve excellent survival with liver transplantation among patients with hepatoma, confirming similar results reported by single center studies," said Paul J. Thuluvath, MD, senior author and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "These findings are particularly reassuring for patients with tumors that cannot be surgically removed, which comprise more than 80 % of HCC patients."
The results for this approach are good and improving:
Researchers found significant and steady improvement in survival over time among liver transplant patients with HCC, particularly in the last five years. Five-year survival improved from 25.3 percent during 1987-1991 to 47 percent during 1992-1996, and 61.1 percent during 1996-2001.
Of course, the big problem is that there are not enough donor organs. The future development of the ability to rapidly grow replacement organs will yield a very attractive option for many forms of organ cancer: replace the defective part. Why not? After all, if you are 50 or 60 or 70 years old replacement of a tired old organ with a lot of miles on it could provide a bit of a boost. Preemptive replacement of many old organs before an organ cancer even begins would partially reverse aging. Put in a new stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas and other parts to get a late middle age partial rejuvenation while simultaenously reducing the risk of cancer.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2003 October 30 03:17 PM Biotech Therapies|