New model may simplify high-dose radiosurgery planning

COLUMBUS, Ohio — There is yet no straightforward way to determine the optimal dose level and treatment schedules for high-dose radiation therapies such as stereotactic radiation therapy, used to treat brain and lung cancer, or for high-dose brachy…

Breathing Device May Help Spare Tissue from Radiation Side Effects

A special breathing technology may help spare healthy lung, heart and liver tissue from the effects of radiation during treatment for early stage breast cancer. Kolby Sidhu, M.D., an instructor in radiation oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, leads a clinical trial examining the effectiveness of the Active Breathing Coordinator (ABC), a device that is aimed at helping patients to hold their breath in a consistent manner while receiving radiation. This inhalation in turn increases the separation between the breast tissue and the heart, reducing the heart’s exposure to radiation during treatment.

Radiation helps drugs ‘zero in’ on tumor blood vessels

A team of scientists has shrunk tumors or delayed their growth in animal studies by using radiation to enable a drug to “zero in” and block the tumor blood vessels. The work, reported in the January issue of the journal Cancer Cell, is a model for what might be achieved in patients by using radiation to activate drug targets in tumors. “We can now use combinations of chemotherapy and radiation to improve the anti-cancer effect for many of our patients, but the side effects can be great,” said Dr. Dennis Hallahan, chair of Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt- Ingram. “With this approach, we hope we can ultimately deliver drugs directly and selectively to the tumor alone, and reduce side effects.”

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