Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Helium ions may provide superior, better-targeted treatment in pediatric radiotherapy, study suggests

Date:
April 5, 2014
Source:
ESTRO
Summary:
For the first time, researchers have been able to demonstrate that the use of helium ions in radiation therapy could provide accurate treatment to tumors while helping to spare healthy organs. A treatment planning study has been able to show that helium may have effects that are superior to radiotherapy using protons, themselves a considerable advance on conventional photon beam radiotherapy.

For the first time, researchers have been able to demonstrate that the use of helium ions in radiation therapy could provide accurate treatment to tumours while helping to spare healthy organs. A treatment planning study to be presented at the ESTRO 33 congress today [Sunday] has been able to show that helium may have effects that are superior to radiotherapy using protons, themselves a considerable advance on conventional photon beam radiotherapy.

Related Articles


Mr Hermann Fuchs, a PhD student at the Medical University of Vienna/AKH Vienna, Austria, working with Dr Barbara Knäusl and Professor Dietmar Georg, set out to devise a method of calculating the optimal dose of helium ions for use in radiation treatment. The dose calculation algorithm was then used for treatment plan calculation for ten paediatric patients, five with neuroblastoma (tumours arising in cells of the hormonal and nervous system), and five with Hodgkin's lymphoma (a cancer of the white blood cells).

"Particle beam therapy involving protons or carbon ions has advantages over conventional radiotherapy. Helium ions may represent another kind of particle that can improve radiotherapy treatment. Due to their increased mass, spreading of the beam is reduced by a factor of two as compared with protons. Moreover helium ions have an increased biological effectiveness at the end of their range," Mr Fuchs explains.

Heavier ions like carbon have the potential to kill cancer cells more effectively due to their underlying biology. But by modelling these biological processes, large uncertainties are introduced, and these can be reduced by using lighter ions like helium. "Helium ions reside in the low Linear Energy Transfer (LET) area," says Mr Fuchs. "LET is a physical quantity describing how much energy of a particle is deposited at a given range, and this measure is important when looking at the biological effects of therapy."

This greater accuracy and sparing of normal tissue is very important in the case of children, the researchers say. When treating them it is particularly important to ensure that as little dose of radiation as possible is deposited outside the area to be treated, since an increased area treated with a low dose can lead to the development of secondary cancers. Given that children have a potentially long lifespan ahead of them, this probability needs to be reduced as much as possible through the use of therapies that are targeted as accurately as possible to the tumour, while sparing the dose to surrounding areas, and especially to healthy organs particularly sensitive to radiation located nearby (the organs at risk).

"After three years of extensive research and validation efforts, we were able to produce a treatment planning algorithm that enabled us to investigate the possibilities for using helium ion therapy in children treated with low dose radiation. We would now like to investigate its potential in patients being treated with higher doses, for example, those with brain tumours. The good results that have been achieved so far warrant the verification of the model in order to investigate the real clinical potential of helium ions," Mr Fuchs will say. "In the long term, clinical trials of this therapy will be needed to substantiate the effects of our treatment planning model.

"Particle beam therapy has already advanced care and treatment options for cancer patients. We hope that the use of helium ions may help to bring about further improvements," he will conclude.

President of ESTRO, Professor Vincenzo Valentini, a radiation oncologist at the Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, Rome, Italy, commented: "This is an exciting study that holds out hope for improved, more accurate radiation treatment for young cancer patients."

[1] The work was performed within the framework of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Medical Radiation Research for Radiation Oncology, and received financial support from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and the National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ESTRO. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ESTRO. "Helium ions may provide superior, better-targeted treatment in pediatric radiotherapy, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140405233829.htm>.
ESTRO. (2014, April 5). Helium ions may provide superior, better-targeted treatment in pediatric radiotherapy, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140405233829.htm
ESTRO. "Helium ions may provide superior, better-targeted treatment in pediatric radiotherapy, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140405233829.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins