"Using IMRT, we are able to dramatically reduce the painful side effects of radiation, thereby improving the patient's quality of life," said Jean-Philippe Pignol, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada. "Patients should be aware that breast IMRT has fewer side effects than standard radiation therapy and is now widely available."
The current standard of care for breast cancer is surgical removal of the cancer, followed by radiation to the breast to kill any remaining cells. The standard radiation technique uses two opposite radiation beams on the whole breast to target the cancer and can cause excess amounts of radiation to certain areas of the breast, increasing the risk of the patient developing sensitive, red, weepy skin that may blister and peel. The majority (80 percent) of severe skin burns occur on the breast crease, located between the bottom of the breast and the chest wall.
Using IMRT, however, radiation oncologists are able to control the intensity of each beam to better spare nearby healthy tissue, thereby minimizing the risk of too much radiation on a part of the breast and severe skin reactions. The treatment was able to significantly reduce this occurrence in women with large breasts, who are more likely to have severe skin reactions.
In this study, 358 patients were randomly assigned to receive either the standard breast radiation treatment or breast IMRT and were observed during and for six weeks after treatment.
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Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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