I get a magazine called Neurology Now. The latest issue had a question related to Neurofibromatosis: Question: What is the latest on Neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors to grow on Nerves? Dr. Scott R. Plotkin Responds:
There's alot of new research being done on Neurofibromotosis. Here are 2 areas that I think are interesting:
WHOLE BODY MRI"s
My research team and i are currently studing this technique, in which a person is scanned from head to toe in 45 minutes, and the stations are fused into a single image through sophisticated software. This technique has a number of potential advantages over trasditional MRI's. First, if patients have multiple tumors spread throughout their body, all the tumors can be imaged in a single MRI scan-session. 2nd-these scans can help estimate a patient's overall response to treatment, even if their doctor is treating a specific tumor.
Most Neurofibromatosis related tumors are benign, and their cells don't divide as rapidly as those in malignant tumors. Instead of trying to kill the dividing cells with traditional chemotherapy, we are using novel chemo drugs that can suppress inappropriately activated signaling pathways that cause tumor growth. Researchers are intersted in effective chemo drugs since surgical remover of tumors is associated with risks. Another benefit is that chemo treats the entire person rather thasn one secific tumor.
NOTE: Dr. Scott R. Plotkin is a doctor of the Neurofibromatosis Clinic at the Massachusettts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, Ma.