Old 12-28-2007, 04:50 AM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Hospitals Look to a Nuclear Tool to Fight Cancer

The feed points us to a NYTimes article about hospitals using particle accelerators to treat cancer. While expensive, proponents say that the proton beams generated by the accelerators are more precise than conventional X-ray radiation therapy. This results in fewer side effects and reduced irradiation of surrounding tissue. The technology's critics say that the cost is not justified by a measurable increase in the level of care given to the patients. Nevertheless, this is an excellent example of "pure scientific research" leading to a useful, unrelated technique. From the NYTimes: "Tumors in or near the eye, for instance, can be eradicated by protons without destroying vision or irradiating the brain. Protons are also valuable for treating tumors in brains, necks and spines, and tumors in children, who are especially sensitive to the side effects of radiation."Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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