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Scientists invent device for safer cancer therapy

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-08 15:56

SYDNEY - Researchers from Australia's University of Wollongong (UOW) have invented a new technology that makes cancer therapy much safer and more effective for patients, especially for those children with cancer, the university said on Thursday.

The new device, known as "MOSkin," measures the amount of radiation patients are exposed to in real time during radiotherapy.

Inventor of the technology, UOW's Professor Anatoly Rozenfeld said it is important to ensure the safety of radiation therapy as nearly two-thirds of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy during their illness.

"While contemporary radiation therapy is very accurate, quality assurance during the treatment delivery is paramount because overdoses of radiation can induce chronic or acute side effects, such as skin erythema," Rozenfeld said in a statement.

"MOSkin monitors the amount of radiation the skin receives and hence this side effects can be more closely controlled."

Rozenfeld, who is the director of the Center for Medical Radiation Physics at UOW, said radiation overdoses could also increase the probability of secondary cancer.

He said the device would help improve techniques to minimize out-of-field doses, which are of particular concern in children.

"MOSkin" has been developed into prototypes for a range of radiotherapy treatments and has been tested at more than 20 cancer centers, hospitals and research institutions in Australia and overseas, according to UOW.

"This technology has been developed over 10 years of research, and we have received very positive scientific and clinical testing results," Rozenfeld said.

"We are pleased that both its technological value and commercial value have been acknowledged by a Chinese patent and the commercialization grant."

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