Lifewatch: Unusual eye cancer treatment

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - The Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky treats up to 1,500 cancer patients a year, using some of the most high tech advances available.

Rebecca Hinsberger was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, and doctors at the Brown Center found an unexpected item to help her cause.

"I stopped at Walgreens on the way home and looked over their selection of baby bottle nipples," said Chief of Physics Michael Mills.

Mills filled the tip of the nipple with lead, and after some rigorous testing, found it covered just the right amount of tissue.

"And it has a safety benefit where if the patient were to startle or jump it will give way," said University of Louisville Medical School Dean, Dr. Edward Halperin.

"We increase the surface dose because we increase the scattering of the electrons," said Mills.

After two trips to Louisville for 13 radiation treatments on each eye, Rebecca returned home to Alaska with up to a 95 percent chance of a cure.