Optimising proton beam therapy with mathematical models (Vol. 50, No. 3)

Optimising proton beam therapy with mathematical models

Particle beam therapy is increasingly being used to treat many types of cancer. It consists in subjecting tumours to beams of high-energy charged particles such as protons. Although more targeted than conventional radiotherapy using X-rays, this approach still damages surrounding normal tissue. To design the optimum treatment plan for each patient, it is essential to know the energy of the beam and its effect on tumour and normal tissue alike. In a recent study, a group of researchers put forward a new mathematical model outlining the effects of these beam therapies on patients' tissues, based on new, more complex, parameters. Using these new models, clinicians should be able to predict the effect of proton beams on normal and tumour tissue more precisely, allowing them to prepare more effective treatment plans.

R. Abolfath, Y. Helo, L. Bronk, A. Carabe, D. Grosshans and R. Mohan, Renormalization of radiobiological response functions by energy loss fluctuations and complexities in chromosome aberration induction: deactivation theory for proton therapy from cells to tumor control. Eur. Phys. J. D 73, 64 (2019)