Cherenkov effect improves optical dosimetry for safer cancer therapy

Researchers at Dartmouth College's Norris Cotton Cancer Center (Lebanon, NH) have shown how the complex parts of blue light, known as the Cherenkov effect, can be measured and used in optical dosimetry to make cancer therapies safer and more effective. The characteristic blue glow from a nuclear reactor is present in radiation therapy, too.

"The beauty of using the light from the Cherenkov effect for dosimetry is that it's the only current method that can reveal dosimetric information completely noninvasively in water or tissue," says Adam K. Glaser, a PhD candidate who worked alongside Rongxiao Zhang, another PhD candidate, and Brian W. Pogue, Ph.D., who led the work.

Although the phenomenon has been constructively utilized for decades in high-energy particle and astrophysics, only recently has it been investigated during radiation therapy. In this study, the researchers separately measured emissions of x-ray photons, protons, and electrons and they found widely varying utility.

Based on the findings of where dose correlates with Cherenkov emission, the research team concluded that, for x-ray photons, the light emission would be optimally suited for narrow beam stereotactic radiation therapy and surgery validation studies, verification of dynamic intensity-modulated and volumetric modulated arc therapy treatment plans in water tanks, near mono-energetic sources (e.g., Co-60 and brachy therapy sources), and also for entrance and exit surface imaging dosimetry of both narrow and broad beams. For electron use, Cherenkov emission was found to be only suitable for surface dosimetry applications. Finally, for proton dosimetry, there exists a fundamental lack of Cherenkov emission at the Bragg peak, making the technique of little use, although the researchers say that post-irradiation detection of light emission from radioisotopes could prove to be useful.

"By detecting this light, we can pursue novel applications of Cherenkov light emission during radiation therapy to help clinicians improve the overall treatment outcome for patients," explains Pogue.

The collaborators intend to pursue further investigation at Norris Cotton Cancer Center to find other applications where this "free" light can be useful, such as continuing clinical trials in which the Cherenkov light from x-ray beams is imaged directly from a patient's tissue surface during radiation therapy.

Full details of the work appear in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology; for more information, please visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/59/14/3789.

-----

Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, connect with us on Google+, and join our group on LinkedIn

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

Shortwave-infrared device could improve ear infection diagnosis

An otoscope-like device that could improve ear infection diagnosis uses shortwave-infrared light instead of visible light.

Microscope detects one million-plus biomarkers for sepsis in 30 minutes

A microscope has the potential to simultaneously detect more than one million biomarkers for sepsis at the point of care.

Photoacoustic imaging quantifies elasticity

Biomedical engineers in the US have developed a form of photoacoustic imaging that can quantify the elasticity of human tissue.

Flow cytometry analyzes cell population to predict cancer immunotherapy response

Flow cytometry helped find that the amount of white blood cells in melanoma tumors can predict response to a cancer therapy.

BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World