When a cancer patient undergoes radiation treatment, cancer cells are killed, but exposure to radiation also attacks healthy tissue, which leads to undesirable side effects. A recent UCI News article discussed a new method of cancer treatment that aims to eliminate this collateral damage. Researchers from UCI and Switzerland’s Lausanne University Hospital are experimenting with FLASH radiation therapy that delivers the same dose as traditional radiation, but in tenths of seconds.
The speedy delivery eliminates many of the toxicities that typically affect cancer survivors long after treatment. This method is just as effective as traditional methods, but decreases side effects such as inflammation and cognitive impairment. One UCI professor of radiation oncology said, “In the last 30 or 40 years, I’d say, there’s been nothing in the field of radiation sciences as exciting as this.”
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