New device may offer safer prostate cancer treatment

Health News

TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) – Two professors from the University of Toledo believe they have invented a safer way to treat prostate cancer. 

The Retractor is a device that would allow doctors to use stronger radiation on the affected area, get rid of the cancer faster and ensure the healthy tissue nearby is not damaged.

Experts say patients with prostate cancer often suffer from rectal problems after radiation treatment. Dr. Ishmael Parsai, University of Toledo professor of radiation oncology said he hopes the new device will fix this. 

“That can cause a lot of damage to the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor and if we can move the healthy tissue away that is really a major, major achievement,” said Dr. Parsai.

Dr. Parsai and Dr. Mohammad Elahinia collaborated on the Retractor. The device would move the rectal wall 1.5 centimeters away from the prostate during radiation treatment.

It is made of Nitinol, a shape-memory alloy, that can be inflated and deflated in seconds after being inserted.

The professors were awarded $150,000 from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission to develop and test the prototype. The award was a part of $2.25 million total award to the university to develop new technologies and move them into the marketplace from the lab.

So far, cadaver tests have been done, and they plan to use the device on patients in the near future. The doctors said the device can also be used on women for cervical cancer and other pelvic tumors.

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