New Cancer Radiation Therapy Appliance Allows You to Take a Weekly Course in a Second

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Scientists have created a device for radiation therapy for cancer, which allows the patient to complete a weekly course in a second. Tests have shown that irradiation with the same dose of radiation that a patient receives per week in a second affects cancer cells just as effectively, but does less harm to healthy ones. A description of the development is published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics.

Today, radiation therapy is one of the most effective methods of combating some types of cancer. However, this method is not ideal – to kill a sufficient number of cancer cells, the patient has to undergo radiation therapy lasting from 7 days to several weeks.

During therapy, the patient is exposed to radiation, which affects not only cancer cells, but also healthy ones – thus, even if the cancer is defeated, the patient may experience other health problems.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found a possible solution to this problem – they managed to create a device called FLASH, which gives the patient a weekly dose of radiation in one second.

Testing the device in mice with lateral pancreatic tumors showed that the new method is as effective as a week-long course of chemotherapy. At the same time, FLASH therapy reduced the loss of healthy cells and did not cause intestinal fibrosis, which is a common side effect of radiation therapy, according to Hightech.fm.

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