Advances in radiation therapy

Dion F Forstner and Mei Ling Yap
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00410
Published online: 16 November 2015

Recent advances have resulted in more precise and effective treatments with fewer side effects

Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) and surgery are the two main treatments available for curing solid tumour malignancies. Radiation therapy uses high-energy ionising radiation to destroy the DNA of cancer cells, and can be used to cure cancers, either alone or in conjunction with surgery or chemotherapy. According to the available evidence, one in two patients with cancer in Australia would benefit from receiving radiation therapy as part of their treatment.1 In cases of incurable disease, radiotherapy relieves distressing symptoms, such as pain, in two of three patients.

  • Dion F Forstner1,2,3,4
  • Mei Ling Yap1,2,3,4,5

  • 1 Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
  • 4 Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW
  • 5 Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Sydney, NSW

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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