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Volume 6, Number 1, 2001

Progress in palliative radiotherapy

Skołyszewski J.


Palliative irradiation is given to about 40% of cancer patients receiving radiotherapy. The large number of patients stand in sharp contrast to the scarce number of publications related to this type of cancer therapy. It is necessary to emphasize that palliative radiotherapy should be administered according to the different principles than curative treatment. The general principles governing palliative use of irradiation, defined by R. Paterson in 1956, seem to be still valid, However, since that time a substantial progress has been made. The main elements of this progress, and the main directions of research are related to:

1. optimisation of fractionation schedules /including hyperfractionation/;

2. re-irradiation;

3. brachytherapy;

4. integration of radiotherapy with the other methods of palliative and symptomatic care.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2001; 6(1) : 41-42

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