Radiation therapy is an effective way to treat localized prostate cancer. Proven successful treatments include brachytherapy (seed implants) where radiation sources are placed directly into the prostate and external beam radiation therapy where doctors give small daily doses of radiation to the prostate, five days a week, for eight weeks to give enough radiation to kill the cancer cells while sparing nearby healthy tissue.
External beam radiation therapy can be a very effective and minimally invasive treatment. However, the length of treatment can be burdensome for some patients, particularly those who live very far from a treatment facility. Doctors have been investigating ways to shorten the course of the treatment through a technique called stereotactic body radiation therapy, where radiation oncologists give a higher dose of radiation every day for five days. Growing biologic evidence also suggests that delivering radiotherapy in this fashion might be more effective for prostate cancer than conventionally protracted courses.
In this study, researchers from Stanford University treated 41 men with low-risk prostate cancer with SBRT. After a median follow-up of 33 months, no man in the study has seen his cancer return. Men in the study reported side effects, including urinary and rectal problems that were no better or worse than with other prostate cancer radiation treatments.
"There is great enthusiasm in reducing the length of treatment for prostate cancer while also possibly improving its effectiveness, and these early results are very promising for men with early-stage prostate cancer," Christopher King, Ph.D., M.D., an associate professor of radiation oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., said. "However, it can often take as long as 10 years to see late side effects and recurrences, so we will have to monitor these men closely and cautiously pursue these treatments further before we can confidently say that SBRT is as good as other proven prostate cancer treatments, like external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy or surgery."
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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