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Control of the primary tumour remains one of the main challenges in cancer therapy. High-LET radiations produce different biological effects from conventional X-rays, from which a potential therapeutic gain might be expected. However, there is also evidence for a reduction in the differences in radiosensitivity related to cell cycle phase, to cell line, or to a reduced importance of repair phenomena. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on the characteristics of the tumour and of the normal tissue that is also at risk. Clinically, fast neutrons are found to be superior to photons in the treatment of salivary gland tumours, prostatic adenocarcinomas and some types of sarcomas. Heavy ions combine the advantages of a high physical selectivity and the potential advantage of high-LET for some types of tumour. The clinical indications for heavy ions would be those tumour types for which high-LET was already shown to be useful and those sites which raise difficult technical problems. The available clinical experience with fast neutrons and protons justifies the heavy-ion programmes. However, their cost and complexity require international collaboration.

Additional information

Authors: HAUVEL P, Centre Antoine-Lacassagne, Nice (FR);WAMBERSIE A, Service de Radiotherapie, Cliniques Université, St. Luc, Bruxelles (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 12165 EN (1989) 525 pp.
Availability: Available from Centre Antoine-Lacassagne, 36 Voie Romaine, 06054 Nice (FR)
Record Number: 198911242 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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