Oncology & Cancer

Researchers develop model to personalize radiation treatment

A personalized approach to cancer treatment has become more common over the last several decades, with numerous targeted drugs approved to treat particular tumor types with specific mutations or patterns. However, this same ...

Oncology & Cancer

Are doctors treating more thyroid cancer patients than necessary?

Nearly a million Americans live with thyroid cancer and doctors will diagnose more than 50,000 new cases this year. Fortunately, the survival rate for this kind of cancer is one of the best. Five years after diagnosis, more ...

Radiology & Imaging

'Seeing the light' behind radiation therapy

Delivering just the right dose of radiation for cancer patients is a delicate balance in their treatment regime. However, in a new study from UBC Okanagan and Duke University, researchers have developed a system they say ...

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Absorbed dose

Absorbed dose (also known as total ionizing dose, TID) is a measure of the energy deposited in a medium by ionizing radiation. It is equal to the energy deposited per unit mass of medium, and so has the unit J/kg, which is given the special name Gray (Gy).

Note that the absorbed dose is not a good indicator of the likely biological effect. 1 Gy of alpha radiation would be much more biologically damaging than 1 Gy of photon radiation for example. Appropriate weighting factors can be applied reflecting the different relative biological effects to find the equivalent dose.

The risk of stochastic effects due to radiation exposure can be quantified using the effective dose, which is a weighted average of the equivalent dose to each organ depending upon its radiosensitivity.

When ionising radiation is used to treat cancer, the doctor will usually prescribe the radiotherapy treatment in Gy. When risk from ionising radiation is being discussed, a related unit, the sievert is used.

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