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Breast cancer treatment shows promise in trials

BY SUSAN SIMPSON Modified: January 16, 2010 at 7:21 am •  Published: January 16, 2010
Heating up breast tissue with microwave technology boosts the power of chemotherapy and shrinks cancerous tumors, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center researchers say.

The finding means that more women with late-stage breast cancer may avoid losing breasts to mastectomy, said Dr. William Dooley, a researcher at the OU Cancer Institute and director of surgical oncology at OU Medicine.

He said patient trials at OU and across the country are showing promising results from the technique, which was tried on tumors larger than an inch and reduced the need for mastectomies by almost 90 percent. Called focused microwave technology, it uses a modified version of Star Wars defense system technology. More patient trials are planned later this year.

"This therapy is a major advancement for women with later-stage breast cancer,” Dooley said.

"Right now most patients with large tumors lose their breast. With this treatment, along with chemotherapy, we were able to kill the cancer and save the breast tissue.”

Dooley said microwave heat of up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit is targeted at breast tissue.

"For some reason, we are uncertain still, cancer cells are very sensitive to microwave-generated heat,” he said. Know It: Cancer

Related Links

Women’s clinics set

The University of Oklahoma College of Nursing is offering 14 free clinics for women as part of its Take Charge program. Take Charge is a free service for women who don’t have health insurance but want to receive cancer screenings such as mammograms and pap tests. Women can call 271-2124 to make an appointment or to see if they qualify for the program.

Dates and locations

• Wednesday, OU Breast Institute, OU Physician’s Building, 825 NE 10

• Jan. 25 and Feb. 15, Baptist Community Clinic, Olivet Baptist Church, 1201 NW 10

• Jan. 26 and Feb. 3 and 9, OU College of Nursing, 1100 N Stonewall Ave.

• Jan. 28 and Feb. 19, Latina-Ramirez Center, 222 NW 12

• Feb. 2, Dr. Bruce Bell’s office, 4200 S May Ave.

• Feb. 11, Clinica de la Mujer Latina, 420 SW 10


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