Dr. Anupama R., Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology at the Amrita School of Medicine won the best paper award at the recently-concluded annual conference of the Association of Gynecologic Oncologists of India.
The winning paper was titled Brain Metastases in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer – Multimodal Treatment Including Surgery or Gamma-Knife Radiation is Associated with Prolonged Survival.
Epithelial ovarian cancer is a malignant disease of the ovary; the disease mostly presents in advanced stages.
“Brain metastases from epithelial ovarian cancer are extremely rare but their incidence has been rising recently due to new and improved therapies that improve the survival rate of patients,” Dr. Anupama explained.
Her study explored the influence of different treatment modalities on survival rate in patients with brain metastases resulting from epithelial ovarian cancer.
The study indicated that prolonged survival may be obtained by adopting multimodal therapy including gamma-knife radio surgery or surgery for the brain metastases. Gamma-knife radio surgery is a type of focused radiation therapy used to treat tumors of the brain. Tiny beams of radiation are used; overall the treatment is seen as safer than conventional brain surgery.
Shedding light on the survival rate in patients who underwent multimodal treatment including gamma knife radiation or surgery, Dr. Anupama stated that the average survival after onset of brain metastasis was 24.5 months in patients who had multimodal treatment compared to 4.5 months in patients who did not have any targeted treatment.
“In targeted treatment only the tumor is targeted, and not the normal tissue. For example, here when we are using gamma knife radio surgery or brain surgery for the brain lesions, only the diseased tissue is removed. Non-targeted treatments would be whole-brain-radiation, where the entire brain would receive radiation along with the tumor or chemotherapy where the whole body would receive the toxic medicines meant to kill the tumor, thus destroying normal tissues also,” Dr. Anupama elaborated.
Dr. Anupama conducted her study during a four-month training in robotic surgery at the Gynecologic-Oncology Centre of McGill University, Canada during March– June, 2012. She was supported by a scholarship of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society for her training abroad.
“In my study, I was able to incorporate data from the Jewish General Hospital under McGill University; Sichuan University, China and also from Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi. Hence it became a study which included patient treatment information from three different countries,” she stated.
In October 2012, Dr. Anupama had also traveled to Vancouver to participate in the Conference of International Gynecologic Cancer Society where she presented a paper on Malignant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors based on her research at Amrita.
We congratulate Dr. Anupama on her achievement.
February 18, 2013
School of Medicine, Kochi