Fragmenting ions and radiation sensitizers

A new study using mass spectrometry is helping piece together what happens when DNA that has been sensitized by the oncology drug 5-fluorouracil is subjected to the ionising radiation used in radiotherapy.

Chemotherapy drugs react differently to radiation while in water

Cancer treatment often involves a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Chemotherapy uses medication to stop cancer cells reproducing, but the medication affects the entire body. Radiotherapy uses radiation to kill ...

New tests provide assurance to MRI-guided radiotherapy

Researchers from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), VSL and the University of Michigan have taken a crucial step towards accurate dosimetry for MRI-guided radiotherapy - a state-of-the-art cancer treatment.

A smaller, lighter delivery system for proton-beam radiotherapy

MIT will be the lead research institution in a project to develop ironless superconducting cyclotrons, an effort that will make highly sought-after proton radiotherapy cancer treatment more available. The Institute's Plasma ...

New video supports radiation dosimetry audits

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), working with the National Radiotherapy Trials Quality Assurance Group, has produced a video guide to support physicists participating in radiation dosimetry audits.

Experts cautious over Google nanoparticle project

A Google project to develop nanoparticles that can detect cancer cells inside the body is a useful contribution but faces important hurdles, experts said on Wednesday.

'Attosecond' science breakthrough

Scientists from Queen's University Belfast have been involved in a groundbreaking discovery in the area of experimental physics that has implications for understanding how radiotherapy kills cancer cells, among other things.

New horizons in radiotherapy?

Targeted radiation therapy that is less harmful to healthy cells could see the light of day thanks to a team of French researchers from the Laboratoire de Chimie Physique - Matière et Rayonnement (CNRS/UPMC) working in collaboration ...

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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