Medical research

Novel nanoparticle enhances radiation tumor killing

Radiation kills tumors by creating oxygen free radicals that damage the tumor DNA. However, the lack of oxygen in the center of tumors blocks the production of free radicals, inhibiting radiation killing. NIBIB researchers ...

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.

Oncology & Cancer

Study identifies a genetic driver of deadly prostate cancer

A new study has identified a novel molecular driver of lethal prostate cancer, along with a molecule that could be used to attack it. The findings were made in laboratory mice. If confirmed in humans, they could lead to more ...

Oncology & Cancer

A 150-year-old drug might improve radiation therapy for cancer

A drug first identified 150 years ago and used as a smooth-muscle relaxant might make tumors more sensitive to radiation therapy, according to a recent study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer ...

Medical research

Smarter cancer treatment: AI tool automates radiation therapy planning

Beating cancer is a race against time. Developing radiation therapy plans—individualized maps that help doctors determine where to blast tumours—can take days. Now, engineering researcher Aaron Babier has developed automation ...

Oncology & Cancer

Aggressive growth of common brain tumors linked to single gene

UC San Francisco scientists have uncovered a common genetic driver of aggressive meningiomas, which could help clinicians detect such dangerous cancers earlier and lead to new therapies aimed at curing these difficult-to-treat ...

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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