New research highlights how cancer cells repair themselves following proton beam therapy
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Credit: University of Liverpool

Collaborative research conducted in Liverpool and Oxford, published in The Red Journal, identifies the specific cellular process that helps cancer cells damaged as a result of proton beam therapy, repair themselves.

Proton beam therapy (PBT) is a type of radiation treatment that uses protons to treat cancer. A proton is a positively charged particle and a machine called a synchrotron or cyclotron speeds up the protons.

The protons’ speed determines the energy level, and high energy protons travel deeper in the body than low energy ones. The key advantage of PBT is that it can deliver the radiation dose specifically to the tumour, and limits damage to normal, healthy tissue.

Low energy protons, in comparison to high energy protons, introduce increased levels of damage to the DNA that is in close proximity (called complex DNA damage) which persists in cells and contributes significantly to the cell killing effects of PBT. The precise mechanism of how the DNA in the targeted cancer cell repairs itself has been until recently unknown.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool and Cancer Research UK / Medical Research Council Oxford Institute for Radiation

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Article originally posted at
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