Miami Cancer Institute's focus on pediatric research: 3 notes

Researchers at Miami Cancer Institute are conducting several pediatric cancer studies focused on reducing dose to critical structures of the brain, minimizing toxicities from treatment and preserving neurocognitive function in survivors, Matthew Hall, MD, lead pediatric radiation oncologist at Miami Cancer Institute, said in a Nov. 3 press release.

Three notes:

1. The first study is a Phase II randomized trial comparing the use of proton therapy versus intensity modulated radiation therapy in patients diagnosed with WHO Grade 2-3 IDH-mutated glioma. 

2. Researchers are investigating whether memantine, commonly used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, offers the same benefits for cognitive function in pediatric cancer patients. Oral medication or a placebo is being administered in children aged 4 to 18 receiving cranial or craniospinal radiotherapy for primary central nervous system tumors.

3. Radiation-induced neurocognitive decline is correlated with damage to cells in the hippocampus. Dr. Hall looks to quantify temporal changes in brain anatomy and substructure volumes in children following cranial radiotherapy to minimize impairment.

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