Billy Loo: “FLASH” radiation therapy brings hope to cancer patients
Stanford radiation oncologist, Billy Loo, says that a new generation of radiation therapy technology called PHASER will be so fast that it can even compensate for the patient moving during treatment.
High-energy X-rays will be fired so quickly, like a flash photograph, that motion is frozen and radiation can be more precisely focused on tumors. His research team is also finding that such ultra-fast “FLASH” radiation kills cancer cells through new biological mechanisms while causing less damage to healthy tissues.
Loo says that while radiation benefits two-thirds of U.S. patients, half of patients with cancer around the world lack access to these curative technologies. To address issues of access, the Stanford Radiation Oncology and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory team is designing PHASER to be a mobile unit that will fit in a standard cargo shipping container and can be powered by solar energy.
Join host Russ Altman and radiation oncologist Billy Loo for a discussion of advances in radiation therapy that are giving new optimism to cancer patients and others.