In this health video learn about a breakthrough in radiation treatment is allowing doctors to attack tumors, while leaving good tissue alone.
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Jennifer Matthews: In this church sanctuary, Ken Sanders finds peace- a respite from his two year battle with throat cancer. Ken Sanders: It makes me feel wonderful. It's the saving grace, I guess. Jennifer Matthews: Every day, Ken gets IGRT, Image Guided Radiation Therapy. The new four-dimensional imaging system is designed to target tumors, compensate for their motion, and miss healthy tissue around them, making it much more precise than traditional radiation. Morris Geffen: It was as if you were hit by a shot gun, and now it's as if we literally have a laser-guided painting gun. We can paint the dose into a very specific target and miss the normal tissue. Jennifer Matthews: And because tumors move. Morris Geffen: This is the tumor and this is showing the motion with each respiration. Jennifer Matthews: Before every treatment, the 4-D scan updates the location of the tumor, then the radiation can be realigned to hit the target. Morris Geffen: Not only is the precision better but we're now able to escalate the dose to such a degree that we can cure more cancers. One of the more famous radiation oncologist in the world paraphrase that this was the most significant advance in cancer management for last 25 years. M'liss Mahn: Oh, it absolutely saved my life. Jennifer Matthews: M'liss Mahn had an inoperable tumor behind her eye. M'liss Mahn: The tumor was sitting, growing into my skull. Jennifer Matthews: Over 70 days of IGRT, doctors targeted her tumor with high doses of radiation, but were able to spare her eyes, her hearing and fragile healthy tissue in her face. Now, she's cancer free, appreciating every day. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.