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Oct 2, 2021

The Medical Minute: Real-time tumor tracking improves cancer cure rates

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Image-guided radiation therapy has evolved to include the ability to track tumors in real time during treatment. It’s improving cure rates and limiting side effects for a growing number of cancer patients.

Think of it like radio making way for television. For more than a century, radiation therapy has been effective in treating cancer. From the first X-rays, to today’s computed tomography (CT) scans, physicians have relied on various imaging techniques to locate tumors and guide their treatment. Enter real-time tumor tracking.

“Magnetic Resonance-guided therapy is really a new paradigm,” said Dr. Rodney Ellis, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He notes the leading-edge technology merges MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) with a linear accelerator, making it possible to reshape radiation dosage based on daily changes in a tumor’s shape, size and position and its surrounding healthy anatomy.

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