News | February 26, 2015

Cherenkov Effect Improves Radiation Therapy for Cancer Patients

Researchers say blue light can help calculate dosimetry of X-ray photons, protons and electrons

Cherenkov effect, radiation therapy, treatment planning, dosimetry

February 26, 2015 — Investigators from Dartmouth College’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center have discovered how the complex parts of the blue light known as the Cherenkov effect can be measured and used in dosimetry to make radiation therapies safer and more effective. Findings of the study, led by Brian W. Pogue, Ph.D., and Ph.D. candidates Adam K. Glaser and Rongxiao Zhang, were published in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology.

"The beauty of using the light from the Cherenkov Effect for dosimetry is that it's the only current method that can reveal dosimetric information completely non-invasively in water or tissue," said Glaser.

Although the phenomenon has been constructively utilized for decades in high-energy particle and astrophysics, only recently has it been investigated during radiation therapy. In this study, investigators separately measured emissions of X-ray photons, protons and electrons, and they found widely varying utility.

Based on the findings of where dose correlates with Cherenkov emission, the Dartmouth team concluded that for X-ray photons, the light emission would be optimally suited for: narrow beam stereotactic radiation therapy and surgery validation studies; verification of dynamic intensity-modulated and volumetric modulated arc therapy treatment plans in water tanks; near mono-energetic sources (e.g., Co-60 and brachytherapy sources); and also for entrance and exit surface imaging dosimetry of both narrow and broad beams.

For electron use, Cherenkov emission was found to be suitable only for surface dosimetry applications. Finally, for proton dosimetry, there exists a fundamental lack of Cherenkov emission at the Bragg peak, making the technique of little use, although investigators say that post-irradiation detection of light emission from radioisotopes could prove to be useful.

"By detecting this light, we can pursue novel applications of Cherenkov light emission during radiation therapy to help clinicians improve the overall treatment outcome for patients," explained Pogue.

The collaborators intend to pursue further investigation at Norris Cotton Cancer Center to find other applications where this "free" light can be useful, such as continuing clinical trials in which the Cherenkov light from X-ray beams is imaged directly from a patient's tissue surface during radiation therapy.

For more information: www.cancer.dartmouth.edu

Related Content

Sponsored Content | Videos | Proton Therapy | August 21, 2017
Mark Pankuch, Ph.D., director of medical physics at the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center, discusses the cl
Summit Cancer Center-Boise Treats First Cancer Patients With Accuray Radixact System
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | August 21, 2017
Accuray Inc. and the Summit Cancer Center-Boise announced that the center is now treating patients with the Radixact...
MedStar Georgetown Proton Center Selects RayStation for Treatment Planning
News | Treatment Planning | August 17, 2017
August 17, 2017 — The proton center at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital will utilize RayStation for planning on
DOSIsoft Releases ISOgray Proton Therapy Treatment Planning System
Technology | Treatment Planning | August 15, 2017
DOSIsoft SA announced the official release, with CE marking, of ISOgray Treatment Planning System (TPS) release 4.3 for...
First Radixact Results Presented at AAPM 2017
News | Radiation Therapy | August 10, 2017
Accuray Inc. announced that the first studies validating the benefits of the Radixact System were presented at the 59th...
Clinical Data Supports Use of Xoft System for Endometrial Cancer
News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 03, 2017
Researchers presented clinical data supporting use of the Xoft Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx) System for the...
Aktina’s interchangeable cones are lightweight and extremely accurate
News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2017
Aktina Medical announced a collaboration with Philips Medical Systems and Elekta Instruments for SRS interlocking at...
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 31, 2017
Elekta’s magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system will be the subject of 21 abstracts at the 59th American...
Accuray Receives 510(k) Clearance for iDMS Data Management System
Technology | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS) | July 31, 2017
July 31, 2017 — Accuray Inc. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S.
Overlay Init