High energy radiotherapy could 'paint' tumours to avoid harming healthy tissue
(Press-News.org) A radiotherapy technique which 'paints' tumours by targeting them precisely, and avoiding healthy tissue, has been devised in research led by the University of Strathclyde.
Researchers used a magnetic lens to focus a Very High Electron Energy (VHEE) beam to a zone of a few millimetres. Concentrating the radiation into a small volume of high dose will enable it to be rapidly scanned across a tumour, while controlling its intensity.
It is being proposed as an alternative to other forms of radiotherapy, which can risk non-tumorous tissue becoming overexposed to radiation.
The researchers are planning further investigation, with the use of a purpose-built device.
The study was undertaken at the CERN Linear Electron Accelerator for Research (CLEAR) facility, and involved researchers at CERN, the University of Oxford, the National Physical Laboratory, the John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science, the University of Napoli Federico II, the University of Oslo and Saclay Nuclear Research Centre in France. It has been published in Nature Communications Physics.
Professor Dino Jaroszynski, of Strathclyde's Department of Physics, led the study. He said: "Around 40% of cancers are treated using external beam radiotherapy. The most commonly used form of radiation is high energy x-ray photons, in which several intercepting shaped x-ray beams of various intensities irradiate a tumour, while avoiding adjacent critical or radiosensitive tissue.
"Particle beams, especially heavier particles such as protons or ions, can improve on photons; heavier particles deposit their radiation dose only up to a finite depth, beyond which it is very small. This limited range, defined by the position of what is known as the 'Bragg peak,' very effectively protects sensitive tissue. However, heavy particle accelerators are very expensive and large, which means that health care institutes can only afford a limited number of them.
"One of the challenges in radiotherapy is precisely targeting the tumour to ensure that all cancer cells are killed, while healthy cells are spared, but at a reasonable cost. Our paper presents an experimental demonstration of concentrating radiation dose into a very small volume to enable a tumour to be 'painted' with radiation, to ensure that it is killed while heathy tissue is spared."
VHEE beams have been proposed as an alternative radiotherapy modality to megavoltage photons; they penetrate deeply but can be overexposed to healthy tissue. This can be largely overcome by focusing the VHEE beam to a small location. Focused radiation beams could be used to precisely target tumours or regions of a tumour lacking oxygen, which would enhance the efficacy of radiotherapy.
The research paves the way for using novel laser-plasma accelerators, which are being developed at the SCAPA (Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma based Accelerators) facility at Strathclyde. A purpose-built medical beamline has been constructed at SCAPA to extend these investigations to the next stage.
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
During glacial periods, the sea level falls, because vast quantities of water are stored in the massive inland glaciers. To date, however, computer models have been unable to reconcile sea-level height with the thickness of the glaciers. Using innovative new calculations, a team of climate researchers led by the Alfred Wegener Institute has now managed to explain this discrepancy. The study, which was recently published in the journal Nature Communications, could significantly advance research into our planet's climate history.
During transitions from glacials to interglacials, the glaciers on Greenland and in North America and Europe wax and wane ...
A simple but powerful idea is to improve the health of corals using cocktails of beneficial bacteria. The strategy is being explored as part of global scientific efforts to help corals become stronger, more stress resistant and more likely to survive bleaching events associated with climate change.
Corals rely on bacterial and algal symbionts to provide nutrients, energy (through photosynthesis), toxin regulation and protection against pathogenic attacks. This complex and finely balanced relationship underpins the health of the holobiont and coral reefs as a whole.
Rather like the use of probiotics in plant science to improve ...
Members of the German Bundestag who belong to underrepresented groups are more active in the legislative process and, early on, typically tend to advocate more for the interests of their groups. However, a current study by the universities in Konstanz, Basel, Geneva and Stuttgart indicates that, after a few years, most of them do move on to other political fields. This is tied to the career-related incentives these elected representatives face: At first, their careers in parliament benefit from their ability to speak for underrepresented groups. As their careers progress, however, they are required to demonstrate expertise in areas beyond the interests of these groups, the researchers conclude.
The study was led by Professor Christian Breunig, ...
Low-income families have a high awareness of healthy diets but can't afford good quality and nutritious food, new research shows.
The University of York study, in partnership with N8Agrifood, showed that participants tried to eat as much fruit and vegetables as they could within financial constraints, avoiding processed food wherever possible. But there was widespread acknowledgement that processed food was often more accessible than healthy options because of its lower cost.
The researchers said that while the diets of low-income households have been subject ...
Whether it's a "Zoombomb" filled with racial slurs, a racist meme that pops up in a Facebook timeline, or a hate-filled comment on an Instagram post, social media has the power to bring out the worst of the worst.
For college students of color who encounter online racism, the effect of racialized aggressions and assaults reaches far beyond any single social media feed and can lead to real and significant mental health impacts - even more significant than in-person experiences of racial discrimination, according to a recently published study from researchers at UConn and Boston College.
"I think we all suspected that we would find a relationship between the racism online in social media and student mental health," says lead author Adam McCready, an assistant professor-in-residence ...
A team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) led by Dr. Assaf Horesh have discovered the first evidence of radio flares emitted only long after a star is destroyed by a black hole. Published in the periodical Nature Astronomy, the discovery relied upon ultra-powerful radio telescopes to study these catastrophic cosmic events in distant galaxies called Tidal Disruption Events (TDE). While researchers had known that these events cause the release of radio flares, this latest discovery saw those flares being emitted months or even years after the stellar disruption. The team was led by Dr. Horesh from the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew together with the NASA Swift space telescope director Professor Brad Cenko and Dr. Iair ...
Selenium contamination of freshwater ecosystems is an ongoing environmental health problem around the world. A naturally occurring trace element, selenium levels are high in some geologic formations like sedimentary shales that form much of the bedrock in the Western United States. Soils derived from this bedrock, and weathering of shale outcrops, can contribute high levels of selenium to surrounding watersheds.
New research out today in Environmental Science & Technology from UConn Assistant Professor of Natural Resources and the Environment Jessica Brandt with Travis Schmidt and colleagues at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) investigates some of the complexities of selenium and how it moves through the ecosystem during runoff ...
To discover the function of a gene researchers turn it off and observe the consequences. Often genes have multiple functions that differ depending on a tissue and age. Some genes are essential to growth and turning them off too early can have profound consequences that can make observing other functions impossible. To avoid it, researchers have been using conditional gene inactivation which allows turning a gene off only in a specific tissue or later in development, e.g., in adulthood.
One of the systems used for conditional gene inactivation is Cre/lox. "It is the gold standard for the conditional gene inactivation in mice but over time has also become quite important in other model ...
New storage and information technology requires new higher performance materials. One of these materials is yttrium iron garnet, which has special magnetic properties. Thanks to a new process, it can now be transferred to any material. Developed by physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the method could advance the production of smaller, faster and more energy-efficient components for data storage and information processing. The physicists have published their results in the journal "Applied Physics Letters".
Magnetic materials play a major role in the development of ...
The way a fish swims reveals a lot about its personality, say scientists
Personality has been described in all sorts of animal species, from ants to apes. Some individuals are shy and sedentary, while others are bold and active. Now a new study published in Ecology and Evolution has revealed that the way a fish swims tells us a lot about its personality.
This new research suggests experts can reliably measure animal personality simply from the way individual animals move, a type of micropersonality trait, and that the method could be used to help scientists understand about personality differences in wild animals.
A team of biologists and mathematicians from Swansea University and the University of Essex filmed the movements of 15 three-spined stickleback ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
[Press-News.org] High energy radiotherapy could 'paint' tumours to avoid harming healthy tissue