Safeguards added to radiation devices

June 10, 2010 2:39:25 PM PDT
Radiation therapy has helped save millions of cancer patients, but there have been recent reports of patients receiving dangerous overdoses.

Now, device makers are promising to add safeguards to the equipment.

With the new safety checks, equipment will not work unless the machines have been specially programmed by a doctor or a medical physicist. The devices will also have added steps that help guarantee the beam of radiation is hitting exactly on the body where the patient needs the treatment.

Last April, the Food and Drug Administration said it had receive nearly 1,200 complaints about improper radiation doses in the past decade.