New method can measure radiation dose administered during radiotherapy

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | December 21, 2017
Rad Oncology Radiation Therapy
One of the experimental systems for
studying LEE-induced damages to
condensed biomolecules
New research published in the Journal of Chemical Physics details a new way to measure the amount of ionizing radiation administered during radiation therapy.

This data can provide insight into the effect that this type of radiation can have on living cells.

Ionizing radiation creates secondary electrons, or low-energy electrons (LEEs), in living tissue that interact with biological molecules such as DNA and sometimes breaks them into fragments, which can lead to mutations and even cell death. However, it’s not well understood exactly how they interact.

A new radiation treatment under development called targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT) injects molecules labeled with radioactive atoms into patients, that localize in their cells. These radioactive molecules then generate ionizing radiation inside or close to the cancer cells.

As part of the TRT method, computer simulations predict the interactions of LEEs with biological matter and the amount of radiation absorbed by the targeted cells. An important component of this is absolute cross sections, which give the probability of interaction between a single LEE and a target molecule.

Researchers at the American Institute of Physics undertook the first direct measurement of absolute cross sections for the phosphate unit in DNA, which are values needed to compute strand breaks induced by LEEs. The results will be used to provide an accurate measurement of the damage and radiation dose delivered to patients in radiotherapy.

You Must Be Logged In To Post A Comment