Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How Technology May Improve Treatment for Children With Brain Cancer

brain clipartScienceDaily (July 18, 2010) — A study presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) shows that children with brain tumors who undergo radiation therapy (the application of X-rays to kill cancerous cells and shrink tumors) may benefit from a technique known as "intensity modulated arc therapy" or IMAT.
This technique relies upon new features on the latest generation of X-ray therapy equipment that allow X-ray sources to be continuously rotated in any direction around a patient during treatment, potentially increasing the number of directions that the beams come from.
The study, which was conducted by medical physicists at St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN, compared different treatment strategies including IMAT for nine children treated with radiation therapy for brain tumors. It showed that IMAT could irradiate these tumors effectively while overall reducing the exposure to the surrounding tissue.
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