Radiotherapy

Definition

Radiotherapy, or radiation therapy, is the clinical use of high energy rays (ionizing radiation) to induce DNA damage in all exposed cells to ultimately kill cancer cells or prevent cancer growth. Radiotherapy may be used to eradicate some cancers, to reduce recurrence or as palliative treatment.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Early use of salvage radiotherapy in patients with prostate cancer with biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy has consistently been shown to provide better oncological outcomes than late use. However, the corresponding scientific literature might be subject to lead-time bias, given that in virtually all the available comparative studies, investigators calculated the survival period of included patients from the time of salvage radiotherapy — instead of from the time of radical prostatectomy.

    • Thomas Seisen
    • , Quoc-Dien Trinh
    •  & Firas Abdollah
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Brain tumours encompass a heterogeneous collection of neoplasms, traditionally classified by histopathological criteria. In 2016, the WHO published an updated classification that, for the first time, defines brain tumour types according to integrated histological and molecular parameters. Furthermore, clinical trial results were reported that inform therapeutic decision-making in diffuse gliomas.

    • Matthias Preusser
    •  & Christine Marosi
  • Comments and Opinion |

    In the past year, clinical trials have provided important information on strategies to decrease treatment-associated toxicities in patients with head and neck cancer. In addition, the FDA approved the first immunotherapeutic agents for patients with recurrent and/or metastatic disease, based on the observation of durable responses to pembrolizumab in a phase Ib trial, and demonstration of improved survival and quality of life with the use of nivolumab versus chemotherapy in a phase III trial.

    • Alain P. Algazi
    •  & Jennifer R. Grandis
  • News and Views |

    Active surveillance has been proposed as a management option that reduces the risk of overtreatment in patients diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer. However, up until now, this approach has not been tested in a prospective, randomized fashion. The PROTECT study confirms that patients diagnosed with prostate cancer through prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening are at a very low risk of cancer-related mortality, but patients undergoing active surveillance do have an increased risk of disease progression and metastases compared with those managed with upfront therapy.

    • Fred Saad