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New angles of attack on problems of cancer surgery are being launched by two New Orleans medical researchers. They are Dr. Isidore Cohn. iTr., professor of surgery at Louisiana State university medical school, and his chief research associate, Dr. Mohammad Atik, assistant LS'U surgery professor. Their five - year project-on colon surgery and antibiotics7 —is backed by a $100,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the US public health service. Two-Fold Purpose The tnajor part of this project has a two-fold basic purpose: 1. To forge techniques for reducing the danger that tumors may spread after cancer surgery, 2, To combat cancer - spread without abandoning one of the surgeon's most useful auxiliary tools — antibiotics. Because of insurmountable dif- bilties in carrying out and Valuating such research with ith human patients, Drs, Cohn Jd Atik are working at LSU "*ith rabbits given tumors of the Ion by injection. jf Although the LSU study cen- i Is on cancers of the colon its implications extend to all types of cancer surgery. Major Problem One of the major problems facing surgeons is "spillage" of cancer cells from the tumor into adjacent areas as the ■ tumor is cut out. Some of these cells may sur- j vive, grow and start new cancers. Surgeons are constantly trying to improve techniques to minimize this danger. The LSU work hinges on the same problem. The possibility that antibiotics may in some way help spread cancers, after spillage was first raised by an English investigator. He found in checking rabbits after surgery for removal of implanted colon tumors that those given antibiotics had a higher incidence of tumor re-growth than those not given the so-called "wonder drugs." Check Findings Drs. Cohn and Atik checked the Englishman's findings by doing the same kind of experiment under more controlled conditions and safeguards than the Britisher's laboratory provided. 1 'We got ^the same results the .Englishman did , — unfor* , tunately," says Dr. Cohn. Nobody knows whether antibiotics actually help cancers spread in humans after cancer surgery. The LSU researchers are trying to find out if they do. But, Dr. Cohn observes, "even if they do this, their advantages far outweigh any dangers they may pose." Drs. Cohn and Atik are trying to kill ' 'spilled" cancer cells by drugs or other means,'so that the valuable antibiotic tool can be used to combat other infection, f Cancer Spillage Spillage of cancer cells during surgery in the gastrointestinal tract, Dr. Cohn estimates, is responsible for only about "10 or 15 per cent" of recurring tumors. Surgeons removing cancers employ a number of safeguards against cancer - spread from spilled cells. v In colon surgery, clamps are placed at either end of the colon section containing the tumor to prevent spillage to other areas of the tract while the tumor is cut out. Since the cells can also get out into the abdominal cavity during surgery, Dr. Cohn and Atik flush out the area with a saline solution—either plain, or reinforced with some cancer drug. Spilled cancer cells take time to do their dirty work, arid are so tiny that they can be seen only under a microscope. » The surgeon can't know how many cancer cells are spilled. Some invariably are, Waiting Period A waiting period is necessary to determine whether the spillage of cells has caused more cancer. A month or so lapse is allowed after surgery before opening the experimental ani-•mal tcj check results. The LSU men have been using a generally well-regarded cancer drug in washing out procedure on his experimental rabbits for a year and a half. The drug hasn't panned out. Says Dr. Cohn r • It hasn't done any good in our hands, under conditions of this experiment. Irrigation with the drug solution appeared to be no more effective than washing out the area with a plain saline solution. But it's possible other agents will work better with the same technique. Anti-Cancer Drugs Cancer researchers are now being offered literally thousands of "anti-cancer" drugs for testing and use in their expert m^nts. Dr. Cohn says he may try out several of the more promising anti-cancer agents during the project. He also may use one or all of these different technical approaches to the problem: 1. Injecting an anti-cancer agent at the same time he injects the cancer into the rabbit's colon, in the hope that loose cancer cells will be killed before they spill out. 2. Give an anti-cancer agent intravenously during the operation. 3. Use X-ray immediately to killed spilled cancer cells. The idea here is to hit the cancer cell in its "infancy" when it's easier to kill. Drugs in Surgery The drugs Dr. Cohn and Atik have tested or plan to test have been used in cancer surgery— either as flushing solutions or intravenously—in nearly every area of the body. Dr. Cohn puts the significance of the research project in these terms: "If the results with the experiments lead to a technique for reducing recurrence of cancer, they can be immediately applied to treatment of estneer of the colon in people."
|Title||Orleanians Launch Project: Attack Cancer Surgery Problems|
|Contact Information||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans - 433 Bolivar St. New Orleans, LA 70112 ~ Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Creator||Kelso, Robert N.|
Cohn, Isidore, Jr., Dr.
Atik, Mohammed, Dr.
|Call Number||1960 p64-65|
New Orleans States-Item
|Identifier||See 'reference url' on the navigational bars.|
|Source||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans ~ www.lsuhsc.edu/no/library|
New Orleans (La.)
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