Scientists Discover New Measurements to Guide Radiation Therapy

Scientists Discover New Measurements to Guide Radiation Therapy

Researchers reveal a new study demonstrating the impact of secondary electrons on a model of DNA, which suggests new measurements to guide radiation therapy.

Radiotherapy is a rapidly emerging field, which involves use of ionizing radiation for treatment of cancer cells. Gamma knife radiotherapy, one of the most widely used radiotherapies, which has the potential to treat cancer anywhere in the body, is rapidly gaining traction, as per gamma knife market report published by Coherent Market Insights.

In radiotherapy, when ionizing radiations pass through living tissues, it interacts with molecules present in the cells, stripping away electrons and producing charged species known as ions. Ionizing radiation used for treatment of cancer includes gamma rays, X-rays, and energetic particles such as alpha and beta rays.

Electrons produced by this process are called secondary electrons, which can further create havoc, causing changes in the DNA. The measurements were made in a condensed-phase environment, which in comparison to isolated electron-molecule experiments, can accurately calculate the damage and radiation dose delivered to patients in radiotherapy.

New methods of radiation treatment that can precisely target specific cancer cells, is known as targeted radionuclide therapy, or TRT.  It involves the use of molecules labeled with radioactive atoms that are injected into patients and localized in cancer cells. Once in place, the radioactive molecules produce ionizing radiation inside or close to cancer cells. This radiation then goes on to generate localized LEEs.

The living DNA is surrounded by water and other types of molecules and thus, it is necessary to process the study in a more realistic environment. DNA is soon expected to be embedded in water and molecular oxygen, known to sensitize cells to radiotherapy.

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