SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Proton Beams vs. Radiation
from the Boston Globe (Registration Required)
Massachusetts General Hospital in the next few weeks will launch a large, long-awaited test of whether a controversial cutting-edge proton beam therapy is more effective than standard radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Proton beam therapy, a targeted and controlled way to administer radiation to a tumor, has become a flashpoint in the debate over health care reform.
The expensive therapy is being used across the country and in some cases advertised directly to the general public before it has been deemed superior to standard radiation treatment, which costs about half as much. For years, doctors and federal health agencies have called for a scientific study like the one led by Mass. General, which will enroll its first patients by early June.
The five-year study will take place at a half-dozen centers across the country, including the University of Pennsylvania.
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PODCAST & VIDEO: 3D Printing Replacement Body Parts
Regenerative medicine, a fledgling field with the aim of regrowing parts from a person’s own cells, is being amplified with 3D-printing technology, which can now use organic materials to create scaffolds that cells need to grow into their final forms. Richard Wysk, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at North Carolina State University, discusses the latest successes with this research, and the timeline for creating more complicated structures.
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