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Machine to aid cancer patients gets tryout

Two lung cancer patients in St. Louis are the first anywhere to get radiation therapy in a new machine that provides real-time clear imaging of their tumors.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the ViewRay machine was developed by a Washington University doctoral graduate, Jim Dempsey. He brought his invention back to Washington University in 2011 for a clinical trial, though the university holds no patents or financial interests in it.

The machine was recently used on two patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. It allows the magnetic resonance imaging and radiation to be produced at the same time, giving doctors a look at the tumor as they deliver the radiation beams, potentially helping them better target the cancerous cells.

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