Prostate cancer and brachytherapy

Prostate cancer and brachytherapy

One thing that always made me laugh was when Cancer Research said that brachytherapy (the use of radioactive seeds to surround and kill a prostate tumour) was perfectly safe. But then went on to tel patients that they should not sit children on their laps or hug their partener!

It seems it is no laughing matter as scientists have developed a dissolving ‘shield’, which aims to deliver more of the radioactivity inward, and less to three year olds sitting on your lap.

Researchers at Louisiana Tech University and University of Mississippi Medical Center have created a 3D-printed shield that can be tailor-made for each patient.

The shields are made from a combination of plastic-forming raw material and barium sulphate, a chemical that is compatible with the human cells but is also effective in stopping radiation.

This is all quite important. Researchers from the Vancouver Cancer Centre have shown that patients undergoing low-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy  survive twice as long as those having conventional radiotherapy. Research wasc presented at a meeting of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology in Spain.

The global market for brachytherapy was estimated at $680 million in 2013 and is set to rise to $2.4 billion by 2020.


2015 Research
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