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University of Iowa News Release

 

Oct. 7, 2008

4-D radiation therapy adds fourth dimension -- and survival

A new form of radiation therapy being used at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics may increase the odds of cancer survival. Typically, chest or abdominal tumors are difficult to treat with traditional radiation therapy because organs and tumors move as a person breathes in and out.

In the past, using large radiation beams to include all possible tumor positions caused normal tissue also to be radiated. Conversely, reducing the beam size to protect normal tissue risked missing parts of the tumor.

Now, 4-D imaging reveals how organs and a tumor move during breathing. The "4-D" stands for the four dimensions used to plan and give treatment: width, height, depth and now, time.

The resulting images are used to deliver a radiation beam at specific times of the breathing cycle so that it hits only the tumor, not surrounding healthy tissue. This radiation delivery is called gating, and the overall treatment approach is called 4-D gating.

For more information about radiation therapy or any other cancer concern, contact Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Cancer Information Service at the University of Iowa at 800-237-1225.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 5224-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319 335-6660 becky-soglin@uiowa.edu