Radiation Course


Anchor lead: Treatment with radiation for many cancers is easier than ever, Elizabeth Tracey reports

When some women with breast cancer had surgery, a single dose of radiation in the OR proved as effective as a more lengthy course after the procedure, a recent study found. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says improvements to radiation therapy are key.

Nelson: The ability to very selectively target where the radiation goes is beginning to impact on how the dose is given. Now that the aiming can be much more precise that safety margin is substantial now, and it’s enabled the radiation oncologist to begin thinking about can you deliver radiation at a fraction that’s more effective in treating the cancer perhaps, and actually may be even more convenient, and I think that’s what you see here for breast cancer.  :27

Nelson says use of radiation therapy for many cancers is transitioning to much shorter courses of treatment, and these are not only more convenient for patients but also result in outcomes that are at least as good, and sometimes better than more lengthy treatment. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.