Radiotherapy and radiation biology
Laser-driven ion acceleration is a promising approach to build compact particle treatment units for therapeutic applications in medicine. By replacing large installations of conventional particle therapy systems this technology could make the favourable properties of particle beams available to a higher number of cancer patients than today. The previous funding period brought considerable progress of laser-driven particle sources and we performed various radiobiological experiments investigating the biological effects of ultrashort-pulsed particle beams.
For the forthcoming funding period, we aim to develop the required beamline instrumentation for laser-driven proton, ion and X-ray beams in order to translate these radiation sources from a pure physics environment to pre-clinical applications for radiotherapy research. This involves the demonstration of radiobiological experiments with laser-driven beams on cells, tissue models and most prominently on small animals in vivo. In addition, we will study radiation biology of proton and ion beams in a well defined, conventionally accelerated microbeam to elucidate the mechanisms leading to the enhanced effectiveness of ion beams.
Our long-term goals and visions
Our long-term goal is the development of compact and cost-efficient treatment units to cure cancer patients with laser-driven proton, ion and brilliant X-ray beams. Combined with advanced imaging methods for higher tissue contrast and early diagnosis such high-precision radiation therapy techniques are expected to significantly improve the clinical outcome by targeting early stages of the disease and by exploiting the favourable characteristics of particle beams for small and large tumours. At present, the availability of particle beams is limited due to the high cost of conventional particle therapy units. Additionally, by capitalising on MAP’s unique research tools for exploring microscopic radiation biological processes, we aim to better understand the reasons for the enhanced biological effectiveness of ion beams in general since this knowledge could be exploited clinically to make radiotherapy with particle beams even more effective.
C.3.1 | Monitoring and dosimetry (Peter Thirolf)
C.3.2 | Radiation therapy with laser-driven ion beams (Jan Wilkens and Jörg Schreiber)
C.3.3 | Cellular and molecular radiation biology of laser-driven particle therapy (Anna Friedl and Günther Dollinger)
C.3.4 | Biomedical aspects of laser-driven particle therapy (Gabriele Multhoff and Thomas Schmid)
C.3.5 | Radiation therapy with brilliant X-ray beams (Jan Wilkens and Franz Pfeiffer)
Jan J. Wilkens, Günther Dollinger
C. Belka, G. Dollinger, M. Molls, G. Multhoff, F. Pfeiffer, J. Schreiber, J. J. Wilkens
Other Project Leaders:
A. Friedl, T. Schmid, T. Tajima, P. Thirolf