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High-dose radiation treatment effective at fighting some cancers in children

an inch or two away from the tumor during the radiation treatment in order to reduce the exposure of these tissues to the radiation.

"We can move bone, nerves and even bowel tissue out of the way," Nag said.

The highest recommended dose of external beam radiation therapy for treating soft tissue cancers is 41.4 Gy - radiation is measured in units called the Gray equivalent, or Gy.

"If we had used these guidelines, most of the threshold doses for normal tissue exposure in children would have been exceeded if the entire treatment had been delivered using external beam radiation therapy," Nag said. "While external beam radiation is needed to fight tumors, it can cause growth retardation or adversely affect organ function in children."

He and his colleagues were able to limit external beam radiation therapy to less than 30 Gy in most cases by using IO-HDRBT.

IO-HDRBT is best used on the hard-to-reach areas inside the body - narrow cavities and corners and curves that are difficult to treat with other treatment methods.

A technique comparable to IO-HDRBT, simply called high-dose-rate brachytherapy, involves leaving the catheter in place on the tumor for up to a week. In these cases, the tumor is usually very small, as is the radiation risk to surrounding tissues. Typically there is no need for additional treatments.

"Some patients don't fit the criteria for high-dose radiation
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Contact: Subir Nag
Nag.1@osu.edu
614-293-3246
Ohio State University
12-Dec-2001


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