New findings may pave way for improved pain relief methods
Although physicians administer radiation therapy to relieve bone cancer pain in more than 100,000 patients each year in the United States, little is known about why the treatment works. Using an experimental radiation model, University of Minnesota Cancer Center researchers and colleagues have determined that radiation treatment may relieve pain by reducing bone tumor size and decreasing progression of cancer-induced bone destruction. The findings appear in February issue of the journal Radiation Research.
"Perhaps the greatest obstacle to improving pain relief following radiation of bone cancer is our limited knowledge regarding mechanisms responsible for decreasing the pain," said lead investigator Denis Clohisy, M.D., professor of orthopedic surgery in the Medical School and Cancer Center member. "Future use of the experimental system described in this research should help accelerate the pace of discovery around these mechanisms and help efforts to reduce the burden of pain suffered by bone cancer patients."
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