|2021 Fall Physics Colloquium Series|
Dr. Carol Johnstone
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
The Innovations in Accelerator Technologies
Transforming Cancer Therapies
Cancer is the second-largest cause of death in the U.S. Most cancer patients undergo radiation therapy with over 95% performed with x-rays.
Protons and ions offer a physical advantage by providing conformal dose deposition, and, for heavy ions, a biological advantage due to a greater degree of double-strand DNA damage. Very recently, a fundamentally different paradigm for increasing the therapeutic index of radiation therapy has emerged, based on the FLASH radiation effect, and supported by preclinical research. FLASH radiation therapy refers to a short, burst of therapeutic radiation at an ultra-high rate (40Gy/sec or higher) and a corresponding high total dose (10 Gy or higher). Under these acute dose conditions, many studies show that normal tissues appear to be universally spared, but tumors are not. However, despite reported advantages and remarkable local tumor control rates particularly with heavy ions, there is
almost no research activity in the U.S. due to the absence of clinical ion facilities.
FLASH radiotherapy research is even further limited by existing commercial accelerator technology – synchrotrons are not capable of producing the intense beams required for clinical FLASH and iso-cyclotrons can only achieve FLASH intensities with shoot-through, undegraded 230/250 MeV proton beams. This presentation reviews the R&D case for FLASH and the innovations in accelerator technologies for next-generation FLASH capable and compact ion facilities. Summary details will also be given on a National Center for ion therapy and research under construction in Waco, TX; a center which will incorporate these state-of-the-art accelerator technologies in collaboration with national laboratories and international accelerator entities both academic and industrial.
via Zoom Presentation
Virtual Meet-the-Speaker Reception: 3:40 p.m.
-and- Colloquium: 4:00 p.m.
For more information contact: Dr. Jeffrey Olafsen, 254-710-2280