Radiotherapy Flashcards Preview

Applied Pharmacology > Radiotherapy > Flashcards

Flashcards in Radiotherapy Deck (18):

What is Radiotherapy?

The treatment of disease by ionising radiation.


How does Radiotherapy work?

Targeted to damage cancer cells.
Apoptosis; high-energy ray hits a molecule causing it to break and form free radicals.


Uses of Radiotherapy...

Treat Cancer
Shrink tumour pre-surgery
Reduce cancer returning post-surgery
Control symptoms / Reduce pain of progressive cancer
Reduce growth of cells E.g. Graves Disease
Palliative radiotherapy


Treats malignancies confined to one area...

Brain, Skin, Prostate, Breast, Uterus


External Radiotherapy...

Supplied from outside the body, given over several days/weeks - painless.
Mark a target area, lie motionless, 5 minutes per fraction.


Internal Radiotherapy...

Utilising radioactive implants inside the body; radioactive wires/seeds (gold/iodine).
Can also relieve oesophagus blockage.
Strontium 89, Samarium 153, iodine 131 (thyroid), radium 223


Mechanisms of a Radiotherapy machine...

Metal element heated to produce electrons > accelerate in electric field towards tungsten metal > emits high-energy x-rays.


Causes of Side effects of Radiotherapy...

Damage to healthy cells: depends on area treated, radiation dose and physical wellbeing.


Conformal Radiotherapy (CRT)...

Use of metal blocks to direct beam of ionising radiation, closely targets shape of tumour.
Routinely used for prostate cancer.


Radiotherapy induced tiredness...

Physical exertion going for treatment daily, Anaemia, Bone marrow affected, diarrhoea.


Radiotherapy induced nausea...

GI tract / Brain treated.
Resolve by; altering diet, anti-emetics, Dexamethasone, 5HT antagonist and anti-histamine.


Radiotherapy induced sore skin...

Local reaction to radiation; sore and red - temp hair loss.


Radiotherapy induced muscle/joint pain...

Muscle stiffness in treated areas, joint swelling.
Resolve with exercise and physio.


Effect of radiotherapy on fertility...

Loss of libido, ovarian function if pelvic treated, induce early menopause. Prostate treatment > impotence/infertility.


Hyperfractioned radiotherapy...

Increased frequency, over 12 days, total dose the same.


Hypofractioned radiotherapy....

Increased dose but fewer fractions. Reduction in radiotherapy received.


Stereotactic radiotherapy...

Treat small round tumours usually in the head, benign: Pituitary adenomas, acoustic neuromas, meningiomas.

Radio surgery = one large dose, IMRT IGRT


Mechanisms of Proton/Ion beam radiation...

Utilises steam of proton particles, focus more tightly on tumours.
Works well on sensitive tumours & Children.
Tested on spinal cord, prostate, lung and liver.