Oncology & Cancer

Suicide gene therapy kills prostate tumor cells

Results from a long-term clinical trial conducted by cancer researchers at Houston Methodist Hospital show that combining radiation treatment with "suicide gene therapy," a technique in which prostate cancer cells are genetically ...

Oncology & Cancer

Aromatherapy and reflexology ease side effects for cancer patients

A noninvasive approach using aromatherapy and reflexology can dramatically reduce pain and anxiety for women undergoing cervical radiation therapy, according to preliminary data from a clinical study underway at The Ohio ...

Oncology & Cancer

Research shows 98 percent cure rate for prostate cancer using SBRT

A five-year study shows that Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) to treat prostate cancer offers a higher cure rate than more traditional approaches, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center Harold ...

Oncology & Cancer

Older lung cancer patients face significant treatment burden

Depending on the type of treatment older lung cancer patients receive, they can spend an average of one in three days interacting with the healthcare system in the first 60 days after surgery or radiation therapy, according ...

Medical research

Old nuclear fallout study provides pancreatic promise

A Rice University chemist's research conducted years ago to protect people from radiation poisoning due to nuclear fallout may now offer a glimmer of hope to patients with pancreatic cancer.

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Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy (also radiotherapy or radiation oncology, sometimes abbreviated to XRT) is the medical use of ionizing radiation as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells (not to be confused with radiology, the use of radiation in medical imaging and diagnosis). Radiotherapy may be used for curative or adjuvant cancer treatment. It is used as palliative treatment (where cure is not possible and the aim is for local disease control or symptomatic relief) or as therapeutic treatment (where the therapy has survival benefit and it can be curative). Total body irradiation (TBI) is a radiotherapy technique used to prepare the body to receive a bone marrow transplant. Radiotherapy has several applications in non-malignant conditions, such as the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, severe thyroid eye disease, pterygium, pigmented villonodular synovitis, prevention of keloid scar growth, and prevention of heterotopic ossification. The use of radiotherapy in non-malignant conditions is limited partly by worries about the risk of radiation-induced cancers.

Radiotherapy is used for the treatment of malignant tumors (cancer), and may be used as the primary therapy. It is also common to combine radiotherapy with surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy or some mixture of the three. Most common cancer types can be treated with radiotherapy in some way. The precise treatment intent (curative, adjuvant, neoadjuvant, therapeutic, or palliative) will depend on the tumour type, location, and stage, as well as the general health of the patient.

Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumour. The radiation fields may also include the draining lymph nodes if they are clinically or radiologically involved with tumour, or if there is thought to be a risk of subclinical malignant spread. It is necessary to include a margin of normal tissue around the tumour to allow for uncertainties in daily set-up and internal tumor motion. These uncertainties can be caused by internal movement (for example, respiration and bladder filling) and movement of external skin marks relative to the tumour position.

To spare normal tissues (such as skin or organs which radiation must pass through in order to treat the tumour), shaped radiation beams are aimed from several angles of exposure to intersect at the tumour, providing a much larger absorbed dose there than in the surrounding, healthy tissue.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA