Keith A. Cengel, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

FLASH Radiotherapy Has Potential To Deliver Entire Course of Cancer Treatment in One Second

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Keith A. Cengel, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Cengel

Keith A. Cengel, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: FLASH radiotherapy involves delivering the treatment dose at a rate that is 1000s of times faster than standard radiotherapy.  Scientists have studied the differential biological effects of various dose rates for dose rates for the past ~80 years, but the unique effects of FLASH dose rates have only been appreciated in the last few years.

While the mechanism(s) and applications of FLASH radiotherapy remain an area of active investigation,  t is clear so far that FLASH dose rates can provide similar levels of tumor control with less toxicity to normal tissues when compared to the same dose of radiotherapy delivered at a standard dose rate.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: In our manuscript, we reported the first ever results using proton radiotherapy at FLASH dose rates in tumor bearing animals, demonstrating retention of tumor control for pancreatic cancer tumors with decreased side effects in the normal bowel.  We also described in detail a novel system that allow us to accurately deliver these proton FLASH radiotherapy with robust, real time monitoring of dose rate and dose-time structure which is really critical from a quality assurance perspective.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: The main take away is that there is still a lot of work to do before this is ready for routine patient use, but the initial results are very exciting and suggest the possibility of shrinking the treatment course from daily treatments delivered over weeks to months to a single treatment delivered in less than a second.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Going forward I am really enthusiastic about the potential for FLASH radiotherapy and truly grateful to be working among such as dedicated, talented and insightful group of researchers on a project that may significantly improve outcomes and quality of life for patients with cancer.

Citation:

Design, Implementation, and in Vivo Validation of a Novel Proton FLASH Radiation Therapy System
Diffenderfer, Eric S. et al.
International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Volume 106, Issue 2, 440 – 448 

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Last Modified: Jan 9, 2020 @ 4:53 pm

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