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Alpha radiation as a weapon against prostate cancer

A trial of a new cancer drug, which accurately targets tumours, has been so successful it has been stopped early. Doctors at London's Royal Marsden Hospital gave prostate cancer patients a powerful alpha radiation drug and found that they lived longer, and experienced less pain and side effects.

Alpha particles can damage cellsThe medics then stopped the trial of 922 people, saying it was unethical not to offer all of them the treatment.

Lead researcher Dr Chris Parker said it was "a significant step forward".

Cancer Research UK said it was a very important and promising discovery.

Radiation has been used to treat tumours for more than a century. It damages the genetic code inside cancerous cells.

Alpha particles are the big, bulky, bruisers of the radiation world. It is a barrage of helium nuclei, which are far bigger than beta radiation, a stream of electrons, or gamma waves.

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GALLAGHER, James. Alpha radiation treats prostate cancers. [online]. 2011, ; [cit. 2014-01-27]. Source:

  • Written by: Jablotron Alarms a.s.
  • Monday, 27 January 2014