Giuseppe Schettino

Professor Giuseppe Schettino

Associate Tutor in Medical Physics

Academic and research departments

School of Mathematics and Physics.



Research interests


Gabrielle Wishart, Priyanka Gupta, Andrew Nisbet, Eirini Velliou, Giuseppe Schettino (2023)Enhanced effect of X-rays in the presence of a static magnetic field within a 3D pancreatic cancer model, In: British journal of radiology96(1143)20220832 British Inst Radiology

Objective: To evaluate the impact of static magnetic field (SMF) presence on the radiation response of pancreatic cancer cells in polyurethane -based highly macro-porous scaffolds in hypoxic (1% O-2) and normoxic (21% O-2) conditions, towards understanding MR-guided radiotherapy, shedding light on the potential interaction phenomenon between SMF and radiation in a three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment.Methods: Pancreatic cancer cells (PANC- 1, ASPC- 1) were seeded into fibronectin-coated highly porous polyethene scaffolds for biomimicry and cultured for 4 weeks in in vitro normoxia (21% O-2) followed by a 2 -day exposure to either in vitro hypoxia (1% O-2) or maintenance in in vitro normoxia (21% O-2). The samples were then irradi-ated with 6 MV photons in the presence or absence of a 1.5 T field. Thereafter, in situ post-radiation monitoring (1 and 7 days post-irradiation treatment) took place via quantification of (i) live dead and (ii) apoptotic profiles.Results: We report: (i) pancreatic ductal adenocarci-noma hypoxia-associated radioprotection, in line with our previous findings, (ii) an enhanced effect of radia-tion in the presence of SMFin in vitro hypoxia (1% O-2) for both short-(1 day) and long -term (7 days) post -radia-tion analysis and (iii) an enhanced effect of radiation in the presence of SMF in in vitro normoxia (21% O-2) for long -term (7 days) post-radiation analysis within a 3D pancreatic cancer model Conclusion: With limited understanding of the poten-tial interaction phenomenon between SMF and radia-tion, this 3D system allows combination evaluation for a cancer in which the role of radiotherapy is still evolving.Advances in knowledge: This study examined the use of a 3D model to investigate MR-guided radiotherapy in a hypoxic microenvironment, indicating that this could be a useful platform to further understanding of SMF influ-ence on radiation.

Kathryn H. Brown, Mihaela Ghita, Giuseppe Schettino, Kevin M. Prise, Karl T. Butterworth (2020)Evaluation of a novel liquid fiducial marker, bioxmark®, for small animal image-guided radiotherapy applications, In: Cancers12(5)1276 MDPI

BioXmark®(Nanovi A/S, Denmark) is a novel fiducial marker based on a liquid, iodine-basedand non-metallic formulation. BioXmark®has been clinically validated and reverse translated topreclinical models to improve cone-beam CT (CBCT) target delineation in small animal image-guidedradiotherapy (SAIGRT). However, in phantom image analysis andin vivoevaluation of radiobiologicalresponse after the injection of BioXmark®are yet to be reported. In phantom measurements wereperformed to compare CBCT imaging artefacts with solid fiducials and determine optimum imagingparameters for BioXmark®.In vivostability of BioXmark®was assessed over a 5-month period, andthe impact of BioXmark®onin vivotumour response from single-fraction and fractionated X-rayexposures was investigated in a subcutaneous syngeneic tumour model. BioXmark®was stable, welltolerated and detectable on CBCT at volumes≤10μL. Our data showed imaging artefacts reduced byup to 84% and 89% compared to polymer and gold fiducial markers, respectively. BioXmark®wasshown to have no significant impact on tumour growth in control animals, but changes were observedin irradiated animals injected with BioXmark®due to alterations in dose calculations induced by thesharp contrast enhancement. BioXmark®is superior to solid fiducials with reduced imaging artefactson CBCT. With minimal impact on the tumour growth delay, BioXmark®can be implemented inSAIGRT to improve target delineation and reduce set-up errors

Miriam A. Barry, Mohammad Hussein, Giuseppe Schettino (2020)Evaluating the Propagation of Uncertainties in Biologically Based Treatment Planning Parameters, In: Frontiers in Oncology10 Frontiers Media

Biologically based treatment planning is a broad term used to cover any instance in radiotherapy treatment planning where some form of biological input has been used. This is wide ranging, and the simpler forms (e.g., fractionation modification/optimization) have been in use for many years. However, there is a reluctance to use more sophisticated methods that incorporate biological models either for plan evaluation purposes or for driving plan optimizations. This is due to limited data available regarding the uncertainties in these model parameters and what impact these have clinically. This work aims to address some of these issues and to explore the role that uncertainties in individual model parameters have on the overall tissue control probability (TCP)/normal tissue control probability (NTCP) calculated, those parameters that have the largest influence and situations where extra care must be taken. In order to achieve this, a software tool was developed, which can import individual clinical DVH's for analysis using a range of different TCP/NTCP models. On inputting individual model parameters, an uncertainty can be applied. Using a normally distributed random number generator, distributions of parameters can be generated, from which TCP/NTCP values can be calculated for each parameter set for the DVH in question. These represent the spread in TCP/NTCP parameters that would be observed for a simulated population of patients all being treated with that particular dose distribution. A selection of clinical DVHs was assessed using published parameters and their associated uncertainties. A range of studies was carried out to determine the impact of individual parameter uncertainties including reduction of uncertainties and assessment of what impact fractionation and dose have on these probabilities.

Emily Russell, Stephen J. McMahon, Ben Russell, Hibaaq Mohamud, Conor K. McGarry, Giuseppe Schettino, Kevin M. Prise (2020)Effects of Gadolinium MRI Contrast Agents on DNA Damage and Cell Survival when Used in Combination with Radiation, In: Radiation research194(3)298pp. 298-309 Radiation Research Society

Gadolinium is a commonly used contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The goal of this work was to determine how MRI contrast agents affect radiosensitivity for tumour cells. Using a 225kVp X-ray cabinet source, immunofluorescence and clonogenic assays were performed on six cancer cell lines: lung (H460), pancreas (MiaPaCa2), prostate (DU145), breast (MCF7), brain (U87) and liver (HEPG2). Dotarem® contrast agent, at concentrations of 0.2, 2 and 20 mM, was used to determine its effect on DNA damage and cell survival. Measurements were performed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to determine the amount of gadolinium taken up by each cell line for each concentration. A statistically significant increase in DNA damage was seen for all cell lines at a dose of 1 Gy for concentrations of 2 and 20 mM, at 1 h postirradiation. At 24 h postirradiation, most of the DNA damage had been repaired, with approximately 90% repair for almost all doses of radiation and concentrations of Dotarem. Clonogenic results showed no statistically significant decrease in cell survival for any cell line or concentration. Uptake measurements showed cell line-specific variations in uptake, with MCF7 and HEPG2 cells having a high percentage uptake compared to other cell lines, with 151.4 ± 0.3 × 10–15 g and 194.8 ± 0.4 × 10–15 g per cell, respectively, at 2 mM Dotarem concentration. In this work, a variability in gadolinium uptake was observed between cell lines. A significant increase was seen in initial levels of DNA damage after 1 Gy irradiation for all six cancer cell lines; however, no significant decrease in cell survival was seen with the clonogenic assay. The observation of high levels of repair suggest that while initial levels of DNA damage are increased, this damage is almost entirely repaired within 24 h, and does not affect the ability of cells to survive and produce colonies.

Emily Russell, Victoria Dunne, Ben Russell, Hibaaq Mohamud, Mihaela Ghita, Stephen J. McMahon, Karl T. Butterworth, Giuseppe Schettino, Conor K. McGarry, Kevin M. Prise (2021)Impact of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles on in vitro and in vivo radiosensitisation of cancer cells, In: Radiation oncology (London, England)16(1)104pp. 1-104 Springer Nature

Purpose The recent implementation of MR-Linacs has highlighted theranostic opportunities of contrast agents in both imaging and radiotherapy. There is a lack of data exploring the potential of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) as radiosensitisers. Through preclinical 225 kVp exposures, this study aimed to characterise the uptake and radiobiological effects of SPIONs in tumour cell models in vitro and to provide proof-of-principle application in a xenograft tumour model. Methods SPIONs were also characterised to determine their hydrodynamic radius using dynamic light scattering and uptake was measured using ICP-MS in 6 cancer cell lines; H460, MiaPaCa2, DU145, MCF7, U87 and HEPG2. The impact of SPIONs on radiobiological response was determined by measuring DNA damage using 53BP1 immunofluorescence and cell survival. Sensitisation Enhancement Ratios (SERs) were compared with the predicted Dose Enhancement Ratios (DEFs) based on physical absorption estimations. In vivo efficacy was demonstrated using a subcutaneous H460 xenograft tumour model in SCID mice by following intra-tumoural injection of SPIONs. Results The hydrodynamic radius was found to be between 110 and 130 nm, with evidence of being monodisperse in nature. SPIONs significantly increased DNA damage in all cell lines with the exception of U87 cells at a dose of 1 Gy, 1 h post-irradiation. Levels of DNA damage correlated with the cell survival, in which all cell lines except U87 cells showed an increased sensitivity (P < 0.05) in the linear quadratic curve fit for 1 h exposure to 23.5 mu g/ml SPIONs. There was also a 30.1% increase in the number of DNA damage foci found for HEPG2 cells at 2 Gy. No strong correlation was found between SPION uptake and DNA damage at any dose, yet the biological consequences of SPIONs on radiosensitisation were found to be much greater, with SERs up to 1.28 +/- 0.03, compared with predicted physical dose enhancement levels of 1.0001. In vivo, intra-tumoural injection of SPIONs combined with radiation showed significant tumour growth delay compared to animals treated with radiation or SPIONs alone (P < 0.05). Conclusions SPIONs showed radiosensitising effects in 5 out of 6 cancer cell lines. No correlation was found between the cell-specific uptake of SPIONs into the cells and DNA damage levels. The in vivo study found a significant decrease in the tumour growth rate.

Gabrielle Wishart, Priyanka Gupta, Giuseppe Schettino, Andrew Nisbet, Eirini Velliou (2021)3d tissue models as tools for radiotherapy screening for pancreatic cancer, In: British journal of radiology94(1120)20201397 British Institute of Radiology

The efficiency of radiotherapy treatment regimes varies from tumour to tumour and from patient to patient but it is generally highly influenced by the tumour microenvironment (TME). The TME can be described as a heterogeneous composition of biological, biophysical, biomechanical and biochemical milieus that influence the tumour survival and its' response to treatment. Preclinical research faces challenges in the replication of these milieus for predictable treatment response studies. 2D cell culture is a traditional, simplistic and cost-effective approach to culture cells , however, the nature of the system fails to recapitulate important features of the TME such as structure, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. At the same time, the traditional use of animals (Xenografts) in cancer research allows realistic architecture, however foreign physiology, limited heterogeneity and reduced tumour mutation rates impairs relevance to humans. Furthermore, animal research is very time consuming and costly. Tissue engineering is advancing as a promising biomimetic approach, producing 3D models that capture structural, biophysical, biochemical and biomechanical features, therefore, facilitating more realistic treatment response studies for further clinical application. However, currently, the application of 3D models for radiation response studies is an understudied area of research, especially for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), a cancer with a notoriously complex microenvironment. At the same time, specific novel and/or more enhanced radiotherapy tumour-targeting techniques such as MRI-guided radiotherapy and proton therapy are emerging to more effectively target pancreatic cancer cells. However, these emerging technologies may have different biological effectiveness as compared to established photon-based radiotherapy. For example, for MRI-guided radiotherapy, the novel use of static magnetic fields (SMF) during radiation delivery is understudied and not fully understood. Thus, reliable biomimetic platforms to test new radiation delivery strategies are required to more accurately predict responses. Here, we aim to collate current 3D models for radiation response studies of PDAC, identifying the state of the art and outlines knowledge gaps. Overall, this review paper highlights the need for further research on the use of 3D models for pre-clinical radiotherapy screening including (i) 3D (re)-modeling of the PDAC hypoxic TME to allow for late effects of ionising radiation (ii) the screening of novel radiotherapy approaches and their combinations as well as (iii) a universally accepted 3D-model image quantification method for evaluating TME components that would facilitate accurate post-treatment(s) quantitative comparisons.

Ines M Costa, Noor Siksek, Alessia Volpe, Francis Man, Katarzyna M Osytek, Elise Verger, Giuseppe Schettino, Gilbert O Fruhwirth, Samantha Y A Terry (2021)Relationship of in vitro toxicity of technetium-99m to subcellular localisation and absorbed dose, In: International journal of molecular sciences22(24)13466

Auger electron-emitters increasingly attract attention as potential radionuclides for molecular radionuclide therapy in oncology. The radionuclide technetium-99m is widely used for imaging; however, its potential as a therapeutic radionuclide has not yet been fully assessed. We used MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells engineered to express the human sodium iodide symporter-green fluorescent protein fusion reporter (hNIS-GFP; MDA-MB-231.hNIS-GFP) as a model for controlled cellular radionuclide uptake. Uptake, efflux, and subcellular location of the NIS radiotracer [ Tc]TcO were characterised to calculate the nuclear-absorbed dose using Medical Internal Radiation Dose formalism. Radiotoxicity was determined using clonogenic and γ-H2AX assays. The daughter radionuclide technetium-99 or external beam irradiation therapy (EBRT) served as controls. [ Tc]TcO in vivo biodistribution in MDA-MB-231.hNIS-GFP tumour-bearing mice was determined by imaging and complemented by ex vivo tissue radioactivity analysis. [ Tc]TcO resulted in substantial DNA damage and reduction in the survival fraction (SF) following 24 h incubation in hNIS-expressing cells only. We found that 24,430 decays/cell (30 mBq/cell) were required to achieve SF (95%-confidence interval = [SF ; SF ]). Different approaches for determining the subcellular localisation of [ Tc]TcO led to SF nuclear-absorbed doses ranging from 0.33 to 11.7 Gy. In comparison, EBRT of MDA-MB-231.hNIS-GFP cells resulted in an SF of 2.59 Gy. In vivo retention of [ Tc]TcO after 24 h remained high at 28.0% ± 4.5% of the administered activity/gram tissue in MDA-MB-231.hNIS-GFP tumours. [ Tc]TcO caused DNA damage and reduced clonogenicity in this model, but only when the radioisotope was taken up into the cells. This data guides the safe use of technetium-99m during imaging and potential future therapeutic applications.

Gabrielle Wishart, Priyanka Gupta, Andrew Nisbet, Giuseppe Schettino, Eirini Velliou (2021)On the evaluation of a novel hypoxic 3d pancreatic cancer model as a tool for radiotherapy treatment screening, In: Cancers13(23)6080 MDPI

Tissue engineering is evolving to mimic intricate ecosystems of tumour microenvironments (TME) to more readily map realistic in vivo niches of cancerous tissues. Such advanced cancer tissue models enable more accurate preclinical assessment of treatment strategies. Pancreatic cancer is a dangerous disease with high treatment resistance that is directly associated with a highly complex TME. More specifically, the pancreatic cancer TME includes (i) complex structure and complex extracellular matrix (ECM) protein composition; (ii) diverse cell populations (e.g., stellate cells), cancer associated fibroblasts, endothelial cells, which interact with the cancer cells and promote resistance to treatment and metastasis; (iii) accumulation of high amounts of (ECM), which leads to the creation of a fibrotic/desmoplastic reaction around the tumour; and (iv) heterogeneous environmental gradients such as hypoxia, which result from vessel collapse and stiffness increase in the fibrotic/desmoplastic area of the TME. These unique hallmarks are not effectively recapitulated in traditional preclinical research despite radiotherapeutic resistance being largely connected to them. Herein, we investigate, for the first time, the impact of in vitro hypoxia (5% O2) on the radiotherapy treatment response of pancreatic cancer cells (PANC-1) in a novel polymer (polyurethane) based highly macroporous scaffold that was surface modified with proteins (fibronectin) for ECM mimicry. More specifically, PANC-1 cells were seeded in fibronectin coated macroporous scaffolds and were cultured for four weeks in in vitro normoxia (21% O2), followed by a two day exposure to either in vitro hypoxia (5% O2) or maintenance in in vitro normoxia. Thereafter, in situ post-radiation monitoring (one day, three days, seven days post-irradiation) of the 3D cell cultures took place via quantification of (i) live/dead and apoptotic profiles and (ii) ECM (collagen-I) and HIF-1a secretion by the cancer cells. Our results showed increased post-radiation viability, reduced apoptosis, and increased collagen-I and HIF-1a secretion in in vitro hypoxia compared to normoxic cultures, revealing hypoxia-induced radioprotection. Overall, this study employed a low cost, animal free model enabling (i) the possibility of long-term in vitro hypoxic 3D cell culture for pancreatic cancer, and (ii) in vitro hypoxia associated PDAC radio-protection development. Our novel platform for radiation treatment screening can be used for long-term in vitro post-treatment observations as well as for fractionated radiotherapy treatment.

Priyanka Gupta, Pedro A. Perez-Mancera, Hemant Kocher, Andrew Nisbet, Giuseppe Schettino, Eirini Velliou (2020)A Novel Scaffold-Based Hybrid Multicellular Model for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma—Toward a Better Mimicry of the in vivo Tumor Microenvironment, In: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology Frontiers Media

With a very low survival rate, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a deadly disease. This has been primarily attributed to – (i) its late diagnosis and (ii) its high resistance to current treatment methods. The later, specifically requires the development of robust, realistic in vitro models of PDAC, capable of accurately mimicking the in vivo tumour niche. Advancements in the field of Tissue Engineering (TE) have helped the development of such models for PDAC. Herein, we report for the first time a novel hybrid, poly- urethane (PU) scaffold based, long term, multicellular (tri-culture) model of pancreatic cancer involving cancer cells, endothelial cells and stellate cells. Recognising the importance of ECM proteins for optimal growth of different cell types, the model consists of two different zones/compartments: an inner tumour compartment consisting of cancer cells (fibronectin coated) and a surrounding stromal compartment consisting of stellate and endothelial cells (collagen I coated). Our developed novel hybrid, tri-culture model supports the proliferation of all different cell types for 35 days (5 weeks), which is the longest reported time frame in vitro. Furthermore, the hybrid model showed extensive collagen I production by the cells, mimicking desmoplasia, one of PDAC’s hallmark features. Fibril alignment of the stellate cells was observed, which attested for their activated state. All three cell types expressed various cell specific markers within the scaffolds, throughout the culture period and showed cellular migration between the two zones of the hybrid scaffold. Our novel model has great potential as a low cost tool for in vitro studies of PDAC as well as for treatment screening.

Reem Ahmad, Giuseppe Schettino, Gary Royle, Miriam Barry, Quentin A. Pankhurst, Olivier Tillement, Ben Russell, Kate Ricketts (2020)Radiobiological Implications of Nanoparticles Following Radiation Treatment, In: Particle & Particle Systems Characterization37(4)1900411 Wiley

Materials with a high atomic number (Z) are shown to cause an increase in the level of cell kill by ionizing radiation when introduced into tumor cells. This study uses in vitro experiments to investigate the differences in radiosensitization between two cell lines (MCF‐7 and U87) and three commercially available nanoparticles (gold, gadolinium, and iron oxide) irradiated by 6 MV X‐rays. To assess cell survival, clonogenic assays are carried out for all variables considered, with a concentration of 0.5 mg mL−1 for each nanoparticle material used. This study demonstrates differences in cell survival between nanoparticles and cell line. U87 shows the greatest enhancement with gadolinium nanoparticles (2.02 ± 0.36), whereas MCF‐7 cells have higher enhancement with gold nanoparticles (1.74 ± 0.08). Mass spectrometry, however, shows highest elemental uptake with iron oxide and U87 cells with 4.95 ± 0.82 pg of iron oxide per cell. A complex relationship between cellular elemental uptake is demonstrated, highlighting an inverse correlation with the enhancement, but a positive relation with DNA damage when comparing the same nanoparticle between the two cell lines

Gabrielle Wishart, Priyanka Gupta, Andrew Nisbet, Eirini Velliou, Giuseppe Schettino (2021)Novel anticancer and treatment sensitizing compounds against pancreatic cancer, In: Cancers13(12)2940 MDPI

The isolation of chemical compounds from natural origins for medical application has played an important role in modern medicine with a range of novel treatments having emerged from various natural forms over the past decades. Natural compounds have been exploited for their antioxidant, antimicrobial and antitumor capabilities. Specifically, 60% of today’s anticancer drugs originate from natural sources. Moreover, the combination of synthetic and natural treatments has shown applications for (i) reduced side effects, (ii) treatment sensitization and (iii) reduction in treatment resistance. This review aims to collate novel and natural compounds that are being explored for their preclinical anticancer, chemosensitizing and radiosensitizing effects on Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which is a lethal disease with current treatments being inefficient and causing serve side effects. Two key points are highlighted by this work: (i) the availability of a range of natural compounds for potentially new therapeutic approaches for PDAC, (ii) potential synergetic impact of natural compounds with advanced chemo- and radio-therapeutic modalities for PDAC.

Kathryn H. Brown, Neree Payan, Sarah Osman, Mihaela Ghita, Gerard M. Walls, Ileana Silvestre Patallo, Giuseppe Schettino, Kevin M. Prise, Conor K. McGarry, Karl T. Butterworth (2023)Development and optimisation of a preclinical cone beam computed tomography-based radiomics workflow for radiation oncology research, In: Physics and imaging in radiation oncology26100446pp. 100446-100446 Elsevier B.V

Radiomics features derived from medical images have the potential to act as imaging biomarkers to improve diagnosis and predict treatment response in oncology. However, the complex relationships between radiomics features and the biological characteristics of tumours are yet to be fully determined. In this study, we developed a preclinical cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) radiomics workflow with the aim to use in vivo models to further develop radiomics signatures. CBCT scans of a mouse phantom were acquired using onboard imaging from a small animal radiotherapy research platform (SARRP, Xstrahl). The repeatability and reproducibility of radiomics outputs were compared across different imaging protocols, segmentation sizes, pre-processing parameters and materials. Robust features were identified and used to compare scans of two xenograft mouse tumour models (A549 and H460). Changes to the radiomics workflow significantly impact feature robustness. Preclinical CBCT radiomics analysis is feasible with 119 stable features identified from scans imaged at 60 kV, 25 bin width and 0.26 mm slice thickness. Large variation in segmentation volumes reduced the number of reliable radiomics features for analysis. Standardization in imaging and analysis parameters is essential in preclinical radiomics analysis to improve accuracy of outputs, leading to more consistent and reproducible findings. We present the first optimised workflow for preclinical CBCT radiomics to identify imaging biomarkers. Preclinical radiomics has the potential to maximise the quantity of data captured in in vivo experiments and could provide key information supporting the wider application of radiomics.

Galen Aymar, Tobias Becker, Stewart Boogert, Marco Borghesi, Robert Bingham, Ceri Brenner, Philip N. Burrows, Oliver C. Ettlinger, Titus Dascalu, Stephen Gibson, Timothy Greenshaw, Sylvia Gruber, Dorothy Gujral, Claire Hardiman, Jonathan Hughes, W. G. Jones, Karen Kirkby, Ajit Kurup, Jean-Baptiste Lagrange, Kenneth Long, Wayne Luk, John Matheson, Paul McKenna, Ruth McLauchlan, Zulfikar Najmudin, Hin T. Lau, Jason L. Parsons, Jaroslaw Pasternak, Juergen Pozimski, Kevin Prise, Monika Puchalska, Peter Ratoff, Giuseppe Schettino, William Shields, Susan Smith, John Thomason, Stephen Towe, Peter Weightman, Colin Whyte, Rachel Xiao (2020)LhARA: The Laser-hybrid Accelerator for Radiobiological Applications, In: Frontiers in physics8567738 Frontiers Media Sa

The "Laser-hybrid Accelerator for Radiobiological Applications," LhARA, is conceived as a novel, flexible facility dedicated to the study of radiobiology. The technologies demonstrated in LhARA, which have wide application, will be developed to allow particle-beam therapy to be delivered in a new regimen, combining a variety of ion species in a single treatment fraction and exploiting ultra-high dose rates. LhARA will be a hybrid accelerator system in which laser interactions drive the creation of a large flux of protons or light ions that are captured using a plasma (Gabor) lens and formed into a beam. The laser-driven source allows protons and ions to be captured at energies significantly above those that pertain in conventional facilities, thus evading the current space-charge limit on the instantaneous dose rate that can be delivered. The laser-hybrid approach, therefore, will allow the radiobiology that determines the response of tissue to ionizing radiation to be studied with protons and light ions using a wide variety of time structures, spectral distributions, and spatial configurations at instantaneous dose rates up to and significantly beyond the ultra-high dose-rate "FLASH" regime. It is proposed that LhARA be developed in two stages. In the first stage, a programme ofin vitroradiobiology will be served with proton beams with energies between 10 and 15 MeV. In stage two, the beam will be accelerated using a fixed-field alternating-gradient accelerator (FFA). This will allow experiments to be carried outin vitroandin vivowith proton beam energies of up to 127 MeV. In addition, ion beams with energies up to 33.4 MeV per nucleon will be available forin vitroandin vivoexperiments. This paper presents the conceptual design for LhARA and the R&D programme by which the LhARA consortium seeks to establish the facility.

Miriam A. Barry, Mohammad Hussein, Giuseppe Schettino (2021)Evaluating the Propagation of Uncertainties in Biologically Based Treatment Planning Parameters (vol 10, 1058, 2020), In: Frontiers in oncology10603976 Frontiers Media Sa
Gabriele Parisi, Francesco Romano, Giuseppe Schettino (2022)Microdosimetry for hadron therapy: A state of the art of detection technology, In: Frontiers in physics101035956 Frontiers Media Sa

The interest in hadron therapy is growing fast thanks to the latest technological advances in accelerators and delivery technologies, to the development of more and more efficient and comprehensive treatment planning tools, and due to its increasing clinical adoption proving its efficacy. A precise and reliable beam quality assessment and an accurate and effective inclusion of the biological effectiveness of different radiation qualities are fundamental to exploit at best its advantages with respect to conventional radiotherapy. Currently, in clinical practice, the quality assurance (QA) is carried out by means of conventional dosimetry, while the biological effectiveness of the radiation is taken into account considering the Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE). The RBE is considered a constant value for protons and it is estimated as a function of the absorbed dose in case of carbon ions. In this framework, microdosimetry could bring a significant improvement to both QA and RBE estimation. By measuring the energy deposited by the radiation into cellular or sub-cellular volumes, microdosimetry could provide a unique characterisation of the beam quality on one hand, and a direct link to radiobiology on the other. Different detectors have been developed for microdosimetry, from the more conventional tissue equivalent proportional counter (TEPC), silicon-based and diamond-based solid-state detectors, to & UDelta;E-E telescope detectors, gas electrons multiplier (GEM), hybrid microdosimeters and a micro-bolometer based on Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) technology. However, because of their different advantages and drawbacks, a standard device and an accredited experimental methodology have not been unequivocally identified yet. The establishment of accepted microdosimetry standard protocols and code of practice is needed before the technique could be employed in clinical practice. Hoping to help creating a solid ground on which future research, development and collaborations could be planned and inspired, a comprehensive state of the art of the detector technologies developed for microdosimetry is presented in this review, discussing their use in clinical hadron therapy conditions and considering their advantages and drawbacks.

Ileana Silvestre Patallo, Rebecca Carter, David Maughan, Andrew Nisbet, Giuseppe Schettino, Anna Subiel (2021)Evaluation of a micro ionization chamber for dosimetric measurements in image-guided preclinical irradiation platforms, In: Physics in medicine & biology66(24)245012

Image-guided small animal irradiation platforms deliver small radiation fields in the medium energy x-ray range. Commissioning of such platforms, followed by dosimetric verification of treatment planning, are mostly performed with radiochromic film. There is a need for independent measurement methods, traceable to primary standards, with the added advantage of immediacy in obtaining results. This investigation characterizes a small volume ionization chamber in medium energy x-rays for reference dosimetry in preclinical irradiation research platforms. The detector was exposed to a set of reference x-ray beams (0.5-4 mm Cu HVL). Leakage, reproducibility, linearity, response to detector's orientation, dose rate, and energy dependence were determined for a 3D PinPoint ionization chamber (PTW 31022). Polarity and ion recombination were also studied. Absorbed doses at 2 cm depth were compared, derived either by applying the experimentally determined cross-calibration coefficient at a typical small animal radiation platform 'user's' quality (0.84 mm Cu HVL) or by interpolation from air kerma calibration coefficients in a set of reference beam qualities. In the range of reference x-ray beams, correction for ion recombination was less than 0.1%. The largest polarity correction was 1.4% (for 4 mm Cu HVL). Calibration and correction factors were experimentally determined. Measurements of absorbed dose with the PTW 31022, in conditions different from reference were successfully compared to measurements with a secondary standard ionization chamber. The implementation of an End-to-End test for delivery of image-targeted small field plans resulted in differences smaller than 3% between measured and treatment planning calculated doses. The investigation of the properties and response of a PTW 31022 small volume ionization chamber in medium energy x-rays and small fields can contribute to improve measurement uncertainties evaluation for reference and relative dosimetry of small fields delivered by preclinical irradiators while maintaining the traceability chain to primary standards.

Ileana Silvestre Patallo, Anna Subiel, Rebecca Carter, Samuel Flynn, Giuseppe Schettino, Andrew Nisbet (2023)Characterization of Inorganic Scintillator Detectors for Dosimetry in Image-Guided Small Animal Radiotherapy Platforms, In: Cancers15(3)987 Mdpi

Simple Summary Dosimetry for preclinical radiotherapy research requires the standardization of dose validation and quality assurance procedures. Except for dose reference measurements, dosimetric quality control of image-guided small animal irradiation platforms is mostly performed with passive detectors (alanine and gafchromic films). This results in the inconvenient task of lengthy post-processing. In this paper, we carried out a dosimetric characterization of an active detection system based on inorganic scintillators in medium-energy X-rays. We implemented a cross-calibration framework based on international dosimetric protocols to assess the energy dependence of the detector. Additionally, we determined relative output factors for very small fields and compared them to other measurement systems (EBT3 film and CMOS sensor). We demonstrated the suitability of the inorganic scintillation system for the development of phantom-based end-to-end tests for dose verification in newly implemented preclinical radiotherapy irradiation techniques. The purpose of the study was to characterize a detection system based on inorganic scintillators and determine its suitability for dosimetry in preclinical radiation research. Dose rate, linearity, and repeatability of the response (among others) were assessed for medium-energy X-ray beam qualities. The response's variation with temperature and beam angle incidence was also evaluated. Absorbed dose quality-dependent calibration coefficients, based on a cross-calibration against air kerma secondary standard ionization chambers, were determined. Relative output factors (ROF) for small, collimated fields (

Gabriele Parisi, Giuseppe Schettino, Francesco Romano (2022)A systematic study of the contribution of counting statistics to the final lineal energy uncertainty in microdosimetry, In: Physics in medicine & biology67(15)155002 IOP Publishing Ltd

Objectives. Microdosimetry is proving to be a reliable and powerful tool to be applied in different fields such as radiobiology, radiation protection and hadron therapy. However, accepted standard protocols and codes of practice are still missing. With this regard, a systematic and methodical uncertainty analysis is fundamental to build an accredited uncertainty budget of practical use. This work studied the contribution of counting statistics (i.e. number of events collected) to the final frequency-mean and dose-mean lineal energy uncertainties, aiming at providing guidelines for good experimental and simulation practice. The practical limitation of current technologies and the non-negligible probability of nuclear reactions require careful considerations and nonlinear approaches. Approach. Microdosimetric data were obtained by means of the particle tracking Monte Carlo code Geant4. The uncertainty analysis was carried out relying on a Monte Carlo based numerical analysis, as suggested by the BIPM's 'Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement'. Final uncertainties were systematically investigated for proton, helium and carbon ions at an increasing number of detected events, for a range of different clinical-relevant beam energies. Main results. Rare events generated by nuclear interactions in the detector sensitive volume were found to massively degrade microdosimetric uncertainties unless a very high statistics is collected. The study showed an increasing impact of such events for increasing beam energy and lighter ions. For instance, in the entrance region of a 250 MeV proton beam, about 5 * 10(7) events need to be collected to obtain a dose-mean lineal energy uncertainty below 10%. Significance. The results of this study help define the necessary conditions to achieve appropriate statistics in computational microdosimetry, pointing out the importance of properly taking into account nuclear interaction events. Their impact on microdosimetric quantities and on their uncertainty is significant and cannot be overlooked, particularly when characterising clinical beams and radiobiological response. This work prepared the ground for deeper investigations involving dedicated experiments and for the development of a method to properly evaluate the counting statistics uncertainty contribution in the uncertainty budget, whose accuracy is fundamental for the clinical transition of microdosimetry.

C. Verona, G. Parisi, S. Cesaroni, A. Crnjac, M. Jaks, M. Marinelli, S. Palomba, F. Romano, G. Schettino, G. Verona Rinati (2022)Characterisation of a monolithic ?E-E diamond telescope detector using low energy ion microbeams, In: Radiation measurements159106875 Elsevier

Telescope detectors have long been studied for their capability of discriminating the type of radiation detected. Silicon is the most widely used material for solid-state detectors. However, in many nuclear physics experiments and medical applications, diamond offers significant advantages due to its outstanding features, such as near tissue equivalence, high radiation hardness and reliable operation in harsh environments. A monolithic AE-E diamond-based telescope was fabricated. The thicknesses of the two detection stages were 2.5 mu m and 500 mu m for the AE and E stage, respectively. The device was characterised by means of IBIC (Ion Beam Induced Charge) analysis at the Ruder Bos?kovic acute accent Institute ion microbeam. The detector, irradiated with different low energy ions ranging from helium to oxygen, showed good homogeneity of the response on a well-defined sensitive volume with a charge collection efficiency close to 100%.The AE stage showed a very good linear response on a wide range of LET values in diamond (170-3140 keV/mu m). Due to its relatively low thickness, it can be successfully used as a microdosimeter. Time coincidence measurements have demonstrated the diamond telescope capability of discriminating and identifying the impinging ions. However, when the ratio between the energy deposited by the particle in the E stage and in the AE stage is small, the response of the E stage was observed to be affected by a cross-talk between the two stages of the device. A method to correct the E response for such effect was developed and successfully applied to the acquired data.

F. Hanton, P. Chaudhary, D. Doria, D. Gwynne, C. Maiorino, C. Scullion, H. Ahmed, T. Marshall, K. Naughton, L. Romagnani, S. Kar, G. Schettino, P. McKenna, S. Botchway, D. R. Symes, P. P. Rajeev, K. M. Prise, M. Borghesi (2019)DNA DSB Repair Dynamics following Irradiation with Laser-Driven Protons at Ultra-High Dose Rates, In: Scientific Reports94471pp. 1-10 Nature Research

Protontherapy has emerged as more effective in the treatment of certain tumors than photon based therapies. However, significant capital and operational costs make protontherapy less accessible. This has stimulated interest in alternative proton delivery approaches, and in this context the use of laser-based technologies for the generation of ultra-high dose rate ion beams has been proposed as a prospective route. A better understanding of the radiobiological effects at ultra-high dose-rates is important for any future clinical adoption of this technology. In this study, we irradiated human skin fibroblasts-AG01522B cells with laser-accelerated protons at a dose rate of 109 Gy/s, generated using the Gemini laser system at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK. We studied DNA double strand break (DSB) repair kinetics using the p53 binding protein-1(53BP1) foci formation assay and observed a close similarity in the 53BP1 foci repair kinetics in the cells irradiated with 225 kVp X-rays and ultra- high dose rate protons for the initial time points. At the microdosimetric scale, foci per cell per track values showed a good correlation between the laser and cyclotron-accelerated protons indicating similarity in the DNA DSB induction and repair, independent of the time duration over which the dose was delivered.

George Soultanidis, Anna Subiel, Isaline Renard, Anna Merle Reinhart, Victoria L Green, Uwe Oelfke, Stephen J Archibald, John Greenman, Amanda Tulk, Adrian Walker, Giuseppe Schettino, Christopher J Cawthorne (2019)Development of an anatomically correct mouse phantom for dosimetry measurement in small animal radiotherapy research, In: Physics in Medicine & Biology64(12)12NT02pp. 1-11 IOP Publishing

Significant improvements in radiotherapy are likely to come from biological rather than technical optimization, for example increasing tumour radiosensitivity via combination with targeted therapies. Such paradigms must first be evaluated in preclinical models for efficacy, and recent advances in small animal radiotherapy research platforms allow advanced irradiation protocols, similar to those used clinically, to be carried out in orthotopic models. Dose assessment in such systems is complex however, and a lack of established tools and methodologies for traceable and accurate dosimetry is currently limiting the capabilities of such platforms and slowing the clinical uptake of new approaches. Here we report the creation of an anatomically correct phantom, fabricated from materials with tissue-equivalent electron density, into which dosimetry detectors can be incorporated for measurement as part of quality control (QC). The phantom also allows training in preclinical radiotherapy planning and cross-institution validation of dose delivery protocols for small animal radiotherapy platforms without the need to sacrifice animals, with high reproducibility. Mouse CT data was acquired and segmented into soft tissue, bone and lung. The skeleton was fabricated using 3D printing, whilst lung was created using computer numerical control (CNC) milling. Skeleton and lung were then set into a surface-rendered mould and soft tissue material added to create a whole-body phantom. Materials for fabrication were characterized for atomic composition and attenuation for x-ray energies typically found in small animal irradiators. Finally cores were CNC milled to allow intracranial incorporation of bespoke detectors (alanine pellets) for dosimetry measurement.

Mark Newpower, Darshana Patel, Lawrence Bronk, Fada Guan, Pankaj Chaudhary, Stephen J. McMahon, Kevin M. Prise, Giuseppe Schettino, David R. Grosshans, Radhe Mohan (2019)Using the Proton Energy Spectrum and Microdosimetry to Model Proton Relative Biological Effectiveness, In: International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics104(2)pp. 316-324 Elsevier

Purpose We introduce a methodology to calculate the microdosimetric quantity dose-mean lineal energy for input into the microdosimetric kinetic model (MKM) to model the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of proton irradiation experiments. Methods and Materials The data from 7 individual proton RBE experiments were included in this study. In each experiment, the RBE at several points along the Bragg curve was measured. Monte Carlo simulations to calculate the lineal energy probability density function of 172 different proton energies were carried out with use of Geant4 DNA. We calculated the fluence-weighted lineal energy probability density function , based on the proton energy spectra calculated through Monte Carlo at each experimental depth, calculated the dose-mean lineal energy for input into the MKM, and then computed the RBE. The radius of the domain (rd) was varied to reach the best agreement between the MKM-predicted RBE and experimental RBE. A generic RBE model as a function of dose-averaged linear energy transfer (LETD) with 1 fitting parameter was presented and fit to the experimental RBE data as well to facilitate a comparison to the MKM. Results Both the MKM and LETD-based models modeled the RBE from experiments well. Values for rd were similar to those of other cell lines under proton irradiation that were modeled with the MKM. Analysis of the performance of each model revealed that neither model was clearly superior to the other. Conclusions Our 3 key accomplishments include the following: (1) We developed a method that uses the proton energy spectra and lineal energy distributions of those protons to calculate dose-mean lineal energy. (2) We demonstrated that our application of the MKM provides theoretical validation of proton irradiation experiments that show that RBE is significantly greater than 1.1. (3) We showed that there is no clear evidence that the MKM is better than LETD-based RBE models.

K. Kokurewicz, E. Brunetti, G. H. Welsh, S. M. Wiggins, M. Boyd, A. Sorensen, A. J. Chalmers, G. Schettino, A. Subiel, C. DesRosiers, D. A. Jaroszynski (2019)Focused very high-energy electron beams as a novel radiotherapy modality for producing high-dose volumetric elements, In: Scientific Reports910837pp. 1-10 Nature Research

The increased inertia of very high-energy electrons (VHEEs) due to relativistic effects reduces scattering and enables irradiation of deep-seated tumours. However, entrance and exit doses are high for collimated or diverging beams. Here, we perform a study based on Monte Carlo simulations of focused VHEE beams in a water phantom, showing that dose can be concentrated into a small, well-defined volumetric element, which can be shaped or scanned to treat deep-seated tumours. The dose to surrounding tissue is distributed over a larger volume, which reduces peak surface and exit doses for a single beam by more than one order of magnitude compared with a collimated beam.

Gareth Price, Emma R Biglin, Sean Collins, Adam Aitkinhead, Anna Subiel, Amy L Chadwick, David, M Cullen, Karen J Kirkby, Giuseppe Schettino, Jill Tipping, Andrew Robinson (2020)An open source heterogeneous 3D printed mouse phantom utilising a novel bone representative thermoplastic, In: Physics in Medicine & Biology65(10)10NT02 IOP Publishing

The lack of rigorous quality standards in pre-clinical radiation dosimetry has renewed interest in the development of anthropomorphic phantoms. Using 3D printing customisable phantoms can be created to assess all parts of pre-clinical radiation research: planning, image guidance and treatment delivery. We present the full methodology, including material development and printing designs, for the production of a high spatial resolution, anatomically realistic heterogeneous small animal phantom. A methodology for creating and validating tissue equivalent materials is presented. The technique is demonstrated through the development of a bone-equivalent material. This material is used together with a soft-tissue mimicking ABS plastic filament to reproduce the corresponding structure geometries captured from a CT scan of a nude mouse. Air gaps are used to represent the lungs. Phantom validation was performed through comparison of the geometry and x-ray attenuation of CT images of the phantom and animal images. A 6.6% difference in the attenuation of the bone-equivalent material compared to the reference standard in softer beams (0.5 mm Cu HVL) rapidly decreases as the beam is hardened. CT imaging shows accurate (sub-millimetre) reproduction of the skeleton (Distance-To-Agreement 0.5 mm ± 0.4 mm) and body surface (0.7 mm ± 0.5 mm). Histograms of the voxel intensity profile of the phantom demonstrate suitable similarity to those of both the original mouse image and that of a different animal. We present an approach for the efficient production of an anthropomorphic phantom suitable for the quality assurance of pre-clinical radiotherapy. Our design and full methodology are provided as open source to encourage the pre-clinical radiobiology community to adopt a common QA standard.

Ileana Silvestre Patallo, Anna Subiel, Adam Westhorpe, Clare Gouldstone, Amanda Tulk, Ricky A. Sharma, Giuseppe Schettino (2020)Development and Implementation of an End-To-End Test for Absolute Dose Verification of Small Animal Preclinical Irradiation Research Platforms, In: International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics107(3)pp. 587-596 Elsevier

Purpose Lack of standardization and inaccurate dosimetry assessment in preclinical research is hampering translational opportunities for new radiation therapy interventions. The aim of this work was to develop and implement an end-to-end dosimetry test for small animal radiation research platforms to monitor and help improve accuracy of dose delivery and standardization across institutions. Methods and Materials The test is based on a bespoke zoomorphic heterogeneous mouse and WT1 Petri dish phantoms with alanine as a reference detector. Alanine measurements within the mouse phantom were validated with Monte Carlo simulations at 0.5 mm Cu x-ray reference beam. Energy dependence of alanine in medium x-ray beam qualities was taken into consideration. For the end-to-end test, treatment plans considering tissue heterogeneities were created in Muriplan treatment planning systems (TPS) and delivered to the phantoms at 5 institutions using Xstrahl's small animal irradiation platforms. Mean calculated dose to the pellets were compared with alanine measured dose. Results Monte Carlo simulations and in phantom alanine measurements in NPL's reference beam were in excellent agreement, validating the experimental approach. At 1 institute, initial measurements showed a larger than 12% difference between calculated and measured dose caused by incorrect input data. The physics data used by the calculation engine were corrected, and the TPS was recommissioned. Subsequent end-to-end test measurements showed differences

Anna Subiel, Ileana Silvestre Patallo, Hugo Palmans, Miriam Barry, Amanda Tulk, Georgios Soultanidis, John Greenman, Victoria L Green, Christopher Cawthorne, Giuseppe Schettino (2020)The influence of lack of reference conditions on dosimetry in pre-clinical radiotherapy with medium energy x-ray beams, In: Physics in Medicine & Biology65(8)085016 IOP Publishing

Despite well-established dosimetry in clinical radiotherapy, dose measurements in pre-clinical and radiobiology studies are frequently inadequate, thus undermining the reliability and reproducibility of published findings. The lack of suitable dosimetry protocols, coupled with the increasing complexity of pre-clinical irradiation platforms, undermines confidence in preclinical studies and represents a serious obstacle in the translation to clinical practice. To accurately measure output of a pre-clinical radiotherapy unit, appropriate Codes of Practice (CoP) for medium energy x-rays needs to be employed. However, determination of absorbed dose to water (Dw) relies on application of backscatter factor (Bw) employing in-air method or carrying out in-phantom measurement at the reference depth of 2 cm in a full backscatter (i.e. 30 × 30 × 30 cm3) condition. Both of these methods require thickness of at least 30 cm of underlying material, which are never fulfilled in typical pre-clinical irradiations. This work is focused on evaluation the effects of the lack of recommended reference conditions in dosimetry measurements for pre-clinical settings and is aimed at extending the recommendations of the current CoP to practical experimental conditions and highlighting the potential impact of the lack of correct backscatter considerations on radiobiological studies.

D Doria, KF Kakolee, S Kar, SK Litt, F Fiorini, H Ahmed, S Green, JG Jeynes, J Kavanagh, D Kirby, KJ Kirkby, CL Lewis, MJ Merchant, G Nersisyan, R Prasad, KM Prise, G Schettino, M Zepf, M Borghesi (2012)Biological cell irradiation at ultrahigh dose rate employing laser driven protons, In: AIP Conference Proceedings1462pp. 135-138

The ultrashort duration of laser-driven multi-MeV ion bursts offers the possibility of radiobiological studies at extremely high dose rates. Employing the TARANIS Terawatt laser at Queen's University, the effect of proton irradiation at MeV-range energies on live cells has been investigated at dose rates exceeding 109Gy/s as a single exposure. A clonogenic assay showed consistent lethal effects on V-79 live cells, which, even at these dose rates, appear to be in line with previously published results employing conventional sources. A Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of 1.4±0.2 at 10% survival is estimated from a comparison with a 225 kVp X-ray source. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Jonathan Kim Mohajer, Andrew Nisbet, Eirini Velliou, Mazhar Ajaz, Giuseppe Schettino (2018)Biological effects of static magnetic field exposure in the context of MR-guided radiotherapy, In: British Journal of Radiation92(1094) British Institute of Radiology

The clinical introduction of magnetic resonance imaging guided radiotherapy has prompted consideration of the potential impact of the static magnetic field on biological responses to radiation. This review provides an introduction to the mechanisms of biological interaction of radiation and magnetic fields individually, in addition to a description of the magnetic field effects on megavoltage photon beams at the macroscale, microscale and nanoscale arising from the Lorentz force on secondary charged particles. A relatively small number of scientific studies have measured the impact of combined static magnetic fields and ionising radiation on biological endpoints of relevance to radiotherapy. Approximately half of these investigations found that static magnetic fields in combination with ionising radiation produced a significantly different outcome compared with ionising radiation alone. MRI strength static magnetic fields appear to modestly influence the radiation response via a mechanism distinct from modification to the dose distribution. This review intends to serve as a reference for future biological studies, such that understanding of static magnetic field plus ionising radiation synergism may be improved, and if necessary, accounted for in magnetic resonance imaging guided radiotherapy treatment planning.

S Kar, D Doria, KF Kakolee, R Prasad, S Litt, H Ahmed, G Nersisyan, C Lewis, M Zepf, M Borghesi, G Schettino, KM Prise, F Fiorini, D Kirby, S Green, JCG Jeynes, MJ Merchant, KJ Kirkby (2013)First results on cell irradiation with laser-driven protons on the TARANIS system, In: AIP Conference Proceedings1546pp. 87-89

The ultra short duration of laser-driven multi-MeV ion bursts offers the possibility of radiobiological studies at extremely high dose rates. Employing the TARANIS Terawatt laser at Queen's University, the effect of proton irradiation at MeV-range energies on live cells has been investigated at dose rates exceeding 10 Gy/s as a single exposure. A clonogenic assay showed consistent lethal effects on V-79 live, cells, which, even at these dose rates, appear to be in line with previously published results employing conventional sources. A Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of 1.4±0.2 at 10% survival is estimated from a comparison with a 225 kVp X-ray source. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

KF Kakolee, D Doria, S Kar, S Lift, M Zepf, M Borghesi, D Kirby, F Fiorini, S Green, K Kirby, JC Jeynes, M Merchant, J Kavanagh, G Schettino (2011)Cell irradiation experiment using laser driven protons at ultra high dose rate, In: 38th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics 2011, EPS 2011 - Europhysics Conference Abstracts35 1pp. 133-136

The effect of proton irradiation of biological cells, on timescales orders of magnitude shorter than with conventional accelerators, has been investigated by employing the TARANIS laser at Queen's University. Multiple cell-spots with different doses and proton energies were irradiated at the same time in a single laser shot at dose rates exceeding 109 Gy/sec. The data show a clear dose-dependant lethal effect of laser-driven protons over V-79 cells. A comparison with the survival obtained with an X-Ray standard source has been done and the resulting relative biological effectiveness (RBE) is about 1.3 at 10%.

M Borghesi, S Kar, R Prasad, FK Kakolee, K Quinn, H Ahmed, G Sarri, B Ramakrishna, B Qiao, M Geissler, S Ter-Avetisyan, M Zepf, G Schettino, B Stevens, M Tolley, A Ward, J Green, PF Foster, C Spindloe, P Gallegos, AL Robinson, D Neely, DC Carroll, O Tresca, X Yuan, M Quinn, P McKenna, N Dover, C Palmer, J Schreiber, Z Najmudin, I Sari, M Kraft, M Merchant, JC Jeynes, K Kirkby, F Fiorini, D Kirby, S Green (2011)Ion source development and radiobiology applications within the LIBRA project, In: WP Leemans, E Esarey, SM Hooker, KWD Ledingham, K Spohr, P McKenna (eds.), LASER ACCELERATION OF ELECTRONS, PROTONS, AND IONS AND MEDICAL APPLICATIONS OF LASER-GENERATED SECONDARY SOURCES OF RADIATION AND PARTICLES8079

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