New targeted radiation therapy could reduce side effects for cancer patients


(WYTV) – The latest in cancer radiation therapy is the mighty proton. This particle full of energy can be directed with great precision straight at a tumor.

Protons cause fewer side effects than traditional radiation. It also means fewer treatments.

“We think that protons may be a way that we can do this even more effectively because protons expose less normal tissues,” said Dr. Robert Mutter, a radiation oncologist at the Mayo Clinic. “If we can reduce the number of daily treatments, that means that my patients are able to be back with their families, or back at their work or the things that they love to do, and not coming in for their treatment.”

With breast cancer patients, for example, because the heart sits right behind breast tissue, using protons to target the tumors can reduce the radiation dose to the heart and lungs. That may offer better outcomes for patients.

That’s less risk for heart disease, lung disease and other cancers in the future.

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