Working together at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, medical physicists and clinicians have developed a new procedure that treats spinal tumors and relieves patient discomfort faster that current treatments. Called intensity-modulated spinal radiosurgery, this technique pinpoints a tumors location to deliver a powerful dose of radiation that avoids healthy areas of the spinal cord, kidneys, and lungs. This research was presented last month at the annual meeting of the American Association for Physicists in Medicine in Montreal.
"Each year roughly 100,000 people are diagnosed with spinal tumors in the U.S.," says Fang-Fang Yin, a medical physicist at Henry Ford Hospital Systems, "Most spinal tumors are located very close to the spinal cord, which is sensitive to radiation."
Because the spinal cord is so vulnerable, current spinal tumor treatments such as conventional radiotherapy and decompressive surgery require multiple lower does of radiation to protect the spinal cord while treating the tumor.
Emilie Lorditch | EurekAlert!
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