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Radiation oncology professor and fellow researchers awarded bone cement patent

The U.S. Patents and Trademark Office has approved a patent application for radioactive bone cement by UC Irvine radiation oncology professor Varun Sehgal, PhD, and fellow university researchers.

The patented compound, Spine-Rad™, infuses radioactive material with a clinical cement to deliver targeted radiation therapy to spine and other bone tumors while restoring bone strength. 

The compound was developed by a multidisciplinary research team led by Joyce H. Keyak, PhD, professor of Radiology at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. In addition to Sehgal, co-inventors include Tadashi Kaneko, PhD, a graduate of the UC Irvine Department of Biomedical Engineering, and UC Irvine Orthopaedic Surgery Professor Emeritus Dr. Harry B. Skinner.

Cancers that begin in the breast, prostate, lung, thyroid and kidney can spread to and disintegrate bones, most commonly those in the back. Introducing radiation therapy into the bone itself can eliminate the need for external beam radiation treatments, which can threaten the spinal cord and cause paralysis.