Cancer: Radiobiology in mice using a laser-driven proton source

A paper demonstrating irradiation of mouse tumors using proton beams obtained with a stable small laser plasma accelerator has been reported in Nature Physics.The findings provide evidence that the technique could be used in future studies aimed at improving radiation therapy for cancer.

Radiation therapy using a proton beam obtained with a conventional accelerator has been established as a treatment for various types of cancer.Recent studies suggest that irradiation at dose rates that are orders of magnitude higher than current clinical standards may have a smaller effect on healthy tissue around the tumor than currently recommended dose rates. Is called the "FLASH effect".Laser plasma accelerators are promising proton sources for obtaining extremely high dose rates that are thought to cause this FLASH effect.

Florian Kroll and colleagues have now established a suitable research platform for irradiating tumors in small animal models with extremely high peak dose rate proton beams from laser plasma accelerators.The authors demonstrate that this accelerator is ready for use in radiobiology, including the effect of slowing the growth of human tumors (squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck) cultured in mouse ears at uniform doses. There is.The sample size used was 92 mice.

In a related News & Views, Leonida Gizzi and Maria Grazia Andreassi state that "laser plasma accelerators are inherently high dose rates and may be useful in studying the underlying mechanisms of the FLASH effect."They add that the results are a promising step towards the further use of extremely high-dose proton beams in translational research.

doi: 10.1038 / s41567-022-01520-3
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Reprinted from: "Cancer: Radiobiology of mice with a laser-driven proton source'

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