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Dr. Spencer on Radiation Therapy for Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Sharon Spencer, MD, professor, chief of Medical Services, Ruby Meredith Outstanding Clinician Endowed Chair, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, discusses the types of radiation therapy available to patients with head and neck cancer.

Sharon Spencer, MD, professor, chief of Medical Services, Ruby Meredith Outstanding Clinician Endowed Chair, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, discusses the types of radiation therapy available to patients with head and neck cancer.

Immunomodulating radiation therapy has become a standard treatment for patients, Spencer explains. However, as research has evolved, she adds that patient outcomes can be improved upon. Proton therapy may be a more precise technique compared with photon therapy, for example, in terms of sparing tissue in young and healthy patients.

Additionally, Spencer suggests that heavy-ion or neutron therapy could be a method used to potentially cure more patients, as these treatments represent a more targeted approach. Further research will answer these questions, she adds.

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