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University of Iowa News Release

June 25, 2003

(Photo: Geraldine Jacobson, M.D., UI associate professor (clinical) in radiation oncology)

UI Uses Advanced Technology To Treat Cervical, Endometrial Cancer

Specialists in Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa are treating women diagnosed with cancer of the cervix or endometrium with advanced therapy that is both highly effective and more convenient for patients.

The technique is called high dose rate (HDR) radiation therapy. HDR is used following the surgical removal of tumors of the cervix or endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. Specialists use HDR to focus an external beam of radiation from a high activity radiation source precisely upon areas where there is a high risk for the cancer to re-develop.

Previously, such patients needed to stay in the hospital for one or two days to receive radiation therapy. HDR treatment sessions are delivered on an outpatient basis in three, 10-minute sessions per week.

"HDR allows us to target just the area where the cancer is most likely to recur while sparing the surrounding normal tissue," said Geraldine Jacobson, M.D., UI associate professor (clinical) in radiation oncology. "That precision, combined with the greater convenience of delivering the treatments in an outpatient setting, makes HDR an ideal option for many of our patients."

A multidisciplinary team, including specialists in gynecologic oncology in the UI Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and physicians and physicists in the UI Department of Radiation Oncology, coordinate HDR therapy.

For more information about HDR radiation therapy, contact the Cancer Information Service in Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at 319-356-3000 or toll-free at 800-237-1125, or visit the information service online at

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading edge research and educating the public about cancer.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACT(S): Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,