Radiation therapy may do more harm than good for some patients

(Image: Mike Johnson from flickr.com)

A cancer diagnosis is confronting enough, but new research shows radiation therapy could do more harm than good for some people. American scientists have found that radiation therapy weakened immunity in mice. Some cancer cells survived the radiation and migrated to other parts of the body, triggering a weakening of the immune system. The impact on humans is unknown, but it could make skin cancer patients more susceptible to the disease in the long term. The study focuses on skin cancer, but could have implications for how other cancers are treated too. Experts say more research is needed to find ways to combine radiation therapy with immunity boosting treatments.

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