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Cancer fight goes nuclear, with heavy price tag

New York Times, December 26, 2007
Medical centers are rushing to add the latest weapons against cancer--nuclear particle accelerators, formerly used only for exotic physics research. Experts say the push reflects the best and worst of the nation's market-based healthcare system. Critics say these medical centers are pursing the latest, most expensive treatments without much evidence of improved health, even as soaring costs add to the nation's economic burden. Nuclear particle accelerators are said to be more precise than the X-rays that are typically used for radiation therapy, with fewer side effects and potentially a higher cure rate.