A Safer Alternative: Radioactive Bone Cement
Radiation therapy vs an injection. A patient with bone cancer may need about 10 sessions of radiation therapy, but a new radioactive bone cement is proving to be easier on the patient, and safer. Brachytherapy is a local treatment during which a radiation source is placed in or near the tumor. With a new bone cement, one injection offers targeted treatment with “significantly less threat to the spinal cord and nerves” while “the radioactive material will stay localized in the bones, which promises to virtually eliminate side effects,” and reduce pain and the use of painkillers.
Results from animal and computational studies were presented at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society. Lead researcher Joyce Keyak, UCI professor of radiological sciences, commented, “Brachytherapy cement could be used without delay in a convenient, one-step, minimally invasive treatment to irradiate tumors, and would not irradiate the spinal cord or limit future treatment options.” The treatment stays local, avoiding the side effects of radiation therapy, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Read the press release.
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