Radiobiology and Microdosimetry

Mission

In radiotherapy, ionizing radiation is used to cause irreparable damage to the DNA and inhibit cell cycling of the cancer cells. However, radiation does not just cause selective damage in cancerous cells but also injures healthy tissue. The biological response to radiation is quantified in terms of the relative biological effectiveness (RBE), defined as the ratio between the absorbed dose of reference radiation such as Cobalt-60 and that of test radiation for a given biological endpoint i.e. cell type, cell cycle, survival level, radiation dose, dose rate and dose per fraction. RBE does not simply depend on the mean value of energy deposition, but on its stochastic distribution, which, in turn, depends on the target size. When changing treatment from one radiation modality to another, it is important to understand the difference in RBE between the two radiation sources/modalities for the same endpoint.


In the Radiobiology and Microdosimetry group, the difference in RBE between different brachytherapy radiation sources and external beam radiotherapy modalities are investigated both experimentally through animal and cell irradiation studies and theoretically through microdosimetrical studies conducted on scanned images from patient’s histopathology slides. Combining these results and incorporating them with appropriate radiobiological models will yield a patient-specific RBE as part of a multiscale treatment planning approach.

Members

Behnaz
Sachin
Melodie
Naim
Joanna
Joud

Projects

Investigating the correlation between induction of DNA double strand breaks and size of the cell nuclei

Dr. Behnaz Behmand is investigating the correlation between induction of DNA double strand breaks and size of the cell nuclei, DNA content and chromatin compaction in different cancer cell lines following irradiation with different radiation qualities. Results from her studies will be used to develop computational models and predict radiation induced damage, which will help us understand which patients will benefit from radiotherapy treatments with a certain radiation quality.

Investigation of Diffusion of the Alpha Particle Emitting Daughters of the AlphaTau DaRT Seed Through Animal Models

Melodie Cyr, Ph.D. Student

In radiotherapy ionizing radiation is used to cause irreparable damage to the DNA and inhibit cell cycling of the cancer cells. However, radiation does not just cause selective damage in cancerous cells but also injures healthy tissue. Many strategies have been developed for delivering dose in radiotherapy to maximize the effect of radiation on tumor cells and to spare the surrounding healthy tissues. Recently a novel brachytherapy treatment option for solid tumors is being offered by the company Alpha TAU Medical Ltd. through alpha emitters released from 224Ra-loaded brachytherapy seeds. This novel technique is called diffusing alpha-emitters radiotherapy (DaRT) and delivers a lethal dose of radiation to the tumor while sparing nearby radiation sensitive healthy tissues due to the short range of alpha particles in tissue. However, currently the diffusion of the alpha emitting daughters from the 224Ra decay in different tumors is not well known.  The aim of Mèlodie’s project is to establish parameters for the DaRT diffusion-leakage model through animal studies.  

RBE for Rectal Cancer

Joanna Li, M.Sc.

Joanna is working on measuring the RBE of different radiation qualities for human rectal cancer cell lines.

Publications

2021

DeCunha, Joseph M.; Villegas, Fernanda; Vallières, Martin; Torres, Jose; Camilleri-Broët, Sophie; Enger, Shirin A.

Patient-specific microdosimetry: a proof of concept Journal Article

In: Physics in Medicine and Biology, 2021, ISSN: 1361-6560.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Behmand, Behnaz; Evans, Michael D. C.; Kamio, Yuji; Enger, Shirin A.

Correlation between Radiation-induced Foci from 192Ir Brachytherapy and Tumor Nuclei Size Presentation

World Congress of Brachytherapy (WCB) - Online, 06.05.2021.

BibTeX

DeCunha, Joseph M.; Poole, Christopher M.; Vallières, Martin; Torres, Jose; Camilleri-Broët, Sophie; Rayes, Roni F.; Spicer, Jonathan D.; Enger, Shirin A.

Development of patient-specific 3D models from histopathological samples for applications in radiation therapy Journal Article

In: Physica medica: PM: an international journal devoted to the applications of physics to medicine and biology: official journal of the Italian Association of Biomedical Physics (AIFB), 81 , pp. 162–169, 2021, ISSN: 1724-191X.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

DeCunha, Joseph M.; Villegas, Fernanda; Vallières, Martin; Torres, Jose; Camilleri-Broët, Sophie; Enger, Shirin A.

Patient-specific microdosimetry: a proof of concept Journal Article

In: Physics in Medicine & Biology, 2021, ISSN: 0031-9155.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2020

Behmand, Behnaz; Kamio, Yuji; Evans, Michael D. C.; Enger, Shirin A.

Correlation Between Radiation-Induced Foci and Tumor Nuclei Size Distribution Presentation

AAPM | COMP Virtual Meeting, 12.07.2020.

BibTeX

2019

DeCunha, Joseph M.; Villegas, Fernanda; Vallières, Martin; Camilleri-Broët, Sophie; Enger, Shirin A.

Towards Patient Specific Microdosimetry Presentation

MCMA, 19.06.2019.

BibTeX

Famulari, Gabriel; Pater, Piotr; Enger, Shirin A.

Microdosimetry calculations for monoenergetic electrons using Geant4-DNA combined with a weighted track sampling algorithm Presentation

Physica Medica, 01.01.2019.

BibTeX

2018

Famulari, Gabriel; Renaud, Marc-André; Poole, Christopher M.; Evans, Michael D. C.; Seuntjens, Jan; Enger, Shirin A.

RapidBrachyMCTPS: a Monte Carlo-based treatment planning system for brachytherapy applications Journal Article

In: Physics in Medicine and Biology, 63 (17), pp. 175007, 2018, ISSN: 1361-6560.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

DeCunha, Joseph M.; Enger, Shirin A.

A new delivery system to resolve dosimetric issues in intravascular brachytherapy Journal Article

In: Brachytherapy, 17 (3), pp. 634–643, 2018, ISSN: 1873-1449.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Famulari, Gabriel; Pater, Piotr; Enger, Shirin A.

Microdosimetric Evaluation of Current and Alternative Brachytherapy Sources-A Geant4-DNA Simulation Study Journal Article

In: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 100 (1), pp. 270–277, 2018, ISSN: 1879-355X.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2017

Famulari, Gabriel; Pater, Piotr; Enger, Shirin A.

Microdosimetry calculations for monoenergetic electrons using Geant4-DNA combined with a weighted track sampling algorithm Journal Article

In: Physics in Medicine and Biology, 62 (13), pp. 5495–5508, 2017, ISSN: 1361-6560.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

DeCunha, Joseph M.; Enger, Shirin A.

Investigation of a New Device to Improve Dosimetric Outcomes in Intravascular Brachytherapy Journal Article

In: Brachytherapy, 16 (3), pp. S80, 2017, ISSN: 1538-4721, 1873-1449, (Publisher: Elsevier).

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

DeCunha, Joseph M.; Janicki, Christian; Enger, Shirin A.

A retrospective analysis of catheter-based sources in intravascular brachytherapy Journal Article

In: Brachytherapy, 16 (3), pp. 586–596, 2017, ISSN: 1538-4721.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

DeCunha, Joseph M.; Enger, Shirin A.

Resolving dosimetric issues in intravascular brachytherapy Presentation

Medical Physics, 01.01.2017.

BibTeX

DeCunha, Joseph M.; Enger, Shirin A.

Investigation of a New Device to Improve Dosimetric Outcomes in Intravascular Brachytherapy Presentation

Brachytherapy, 01.01.2017.

BibTeX

Famulari, Gabriel; Pater, Piotr; Enger, Shirin A.

Microdosimetric evaluation of intermediate-energy brachytherapy sources using Geant4-DNA Presentation

Radiotherapy and Oncology, 01.01.2017.

BibTeX

2016

Pater, Piotr; Bäckstöm, Gloria; Villegas, Fernanda; Ahnesjö, Anders; Enger, Shirin A.; Seuntjens, Jan; Naqa, Issam El

Proton and light ion RBE for the induction of direct DNA double strand breaks Journal Article

In: Medical Physics, 43 (5), pp. 2131–2140, 2016, ISSN: 2473-4209, (_eprint: https://aapm.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1118/1.4944870).

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2015

Bäckstöm, Gloria; Villegas, Fernanda; Enger, Shirin A.; Ahnesjö, Anders

Impact of the microdosimetric spread on cell survival data analysis Presentation

World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, 06.10.2015.

BibTeX

Poole, Christopher M.; Ahnesjö, Anders; Enger, Shirin A.

Determination of subcellular compartment sizes for estimating dose variations in radiotherapy Journal Article

In: Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 166 (1-4), pp. 361–364, 2015, ISSN: 1742-3406.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Pater, Piotr; Bäckstöm, Gloria; Villegas, Fernanda; Ahnesjö, Anders; Enger, Shirin A.; Seuntjens, Jan; Naqa, Issam El

Influence of Proton Track-Cell Nucleus Incidence Angle On Relative Biological Effectiveness Presentation

Med. Phys., 01.01.2015.

BibTeX

Pater, Piotr; Bäckstöm, Gloria; Villegas, Fernanda; Ahnesjö, Anders; Enger, Shirin A.; Seuntjens, Jan; Naqa, Issam El

On the Value of LET as a Radiation Quality Descriptor for RBE Presentation

AAPM annual meeting Med. Phys. 42, 3469, 01.01.2015.

BibTeX

Pater, Piotr; Bäckstöm, Gloria; Villegas, Fernanda; Ahnesjö, Anders; Enger, Shirin A.; Seuntjens, Jan

Exploring RBE Dependence on Proton Track Angular Incidence Presentation

World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, 01.01.2015.

BibTeX

Pater, Piotr; Bäckstöm, Gloria; Villegas, Fernanda; Ahnesjö, Anders; Enger, Shirin A.; Seuntjens, Jan

Initial DNA damage patterns with MC track structure and ionization clusters Presentation

Radiotherapy and Oncology, 115, Supplement 1, S76-S77, 01.01.2015.

BibTeX

Villegas, Fernanda; Bäckstöm, Gloria; Enger, Shirin A.; Ahnesjö, Anders

Impact of the microdosimetric spread on LQ-parameterization of cell survival data for protons and Co-60 photons Presentation

Radiotherapy and Oncology, 115, Supplement 1, S803, 01.01.2015.

BibTeX

2014

Poole, Christopher M.; Enger, Shirin A.; Crosbie, Jeffrey C

Determining microdosimetric spread amongst cells subject to microbeam radiotherapy using Monte Carlo simulation. Micro-Mini & Nano Dosimetry and Prostate Cancer Treatment Workshop Presentation

MMND-IPCT Conference, 20.10.2014.

BibTeX

Poole, Christopher M.; Ahnesjö, Anders; Enger, Shirin A.

Calculation of microdosimetric data due to subcellular compartment sizes determined from histological samples Presentation

Radiotherapy and Oncology, 01.01.2014.

BibTeX