Probiotic protects intestine from radiation injury

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that taking a probiotic before radiation therapy can protect the intestine from damage — at least in mice. Their study suggests that taking a probiotic also may help cancer patients avoid intestinal injury, a common problem in those receiving radiation therapy for abdominal cancers.

Measuring lung motion leads to better radiation treatment for lung cancer

Parag Parikh and Kristen Lechleiter set up the 4D Phantom to simulate the motion of tumors in the lung.Tumors that move, such as those in the lung — which can change position during each breath — are a special problem for radiation oncologists. A group at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has studied the way lung tissues move during breathing in hopes of improving radiation as a treatment for lung cancer.

Measuring lung motion leads to better radiation treatment for lung cancer

Parag Parikh and Kristen Lechleiter set up the 4D Phantom to simulate the motion of tumors in the lung.Tumors that move, such as those in the lung — which can change position during each breath — are a special problem for radiation oncologists. A group at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has studied the way lung tissues move during breathing in hopes of improving radiation as a treatment for lung cancer. More…

Avoiding esophagitis

Lung cancer tumor to be treated with radiation.More than half of the lung cancer patients who receive radiation treatment for their illness develop a painful swelling and inflammation in the esophagus known as esophagitis. Although treating the lung cancer is the top priority for doctors, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis hope to lower the risk of this unpleasant side effect. They have quantified risk factors for esophagitis, linking it to the amount of radiation a patient’s esophagus receives and to simultaneous chemotherapy. The findings mean it may be possible to predict and potentially avoid esophagitis, according to Jeffrey D. Bradley, M.D., assistant professor of radiation oncology and lead author of a paper published recently in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.