(RxWiki News) Radiation therapy of any type can be a lengthy, involved process - often requiring daily treatments over a matter of weeks.
A new study finds that a different method of radiation can streamline the entire process for women with gynecological cancers.
Researchers have found a more effective radiotherapy - stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) - for treating gynecological cancers that have returned (recurrent).
This method shortens the course of radiation from five weeks to three days.
"Ask about all the radiation options open to you."
Patients received three daily doses of image-guided SBRT.
At three months follow-up, all of the women experienced some benefit from the therapy - complete response, partial response or stable disease.
Of the 50 study participants, 33 had a progression-free disease for at least six months.
"Unlike traditional radiation therapy, SBRT uses focused radiation beams and targets well-defined tumors," says Charles Kunos, MD, study co-author and Director of Gynecologic Radiation Oncology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
"The highly specific nature of the procedure not only shortens treatment time, it limits the effect of the radiation on healthy tissues."
The results of this study are being presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held June 1-5, 2012 in Chicago.
None of the authors declared conflicts of interest.
It should be noted that all research is considered preliminary before it is published in peer-reviewed journals.