Scientists have found a way to increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy

Scientists have found a way to increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy

Tomsk Polytechnic scientists proposed to print on a 3D printer individual polymer devices that distribute the dose of electrons during radiation therapy. According to the authors, the development will make it possible to quickly and qualitatively irradiate tumors with minimal impact on healthy tissues, which will increase the effectiveness of treatment. The research results were published in the scientific journal Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment.

Today, radiation therapy is one of the main methods of treatment of malignant neoplasms, Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) scientists said. Electronic irradiation of tumors gives good therapeutic results by controlling the depth of particle penetration and the position of the maximum radiation dose, which significantly reduces radiation damage to healthy tissues.

The standard equipment of irradiation facilities includes a set of special devices – applicators for the formation of an electron beam, which allow creating only square or round fields of a given size with a uniform distribution of the dose in depth.

In an aqueous environment, the standard three-dimensional electron beam dose distribution resembles a parallelepiped. However, the organs and tissues of the human body distort the ideal distribution of the beam due to different densities. The same thing happens when irradiating malignant tumors, which also have an irregular shape and are surrounded by healthy tissues. To do this, it was necessary to create a device that would allow forming a transverse distribution of the beam, close to the shape of the tumor, and take into account the individual anatomy of the patient to create the desired depth distribution.

“In fact, it is necessary somewhere to close completely, somewhere to partially absorb the “ideal” rectangular field of irradiation. Individual forming devices are used for this. Our proposed solution is to use modern advances in 3D printing to manufacture such devices. This will allow us to increase the speed and accuracy of their creation,” said Associate Professor of the Scientific and Educational Center for International Nuclear Education and Career Support of Foreign Students of TPU Iryna Miloichikova.

According to her, the use of products printed using the layer-by-layer deposition method really made it possible to change the shape of the electron irradiation field, both in cross-section and in depth. Thus, the technology made it possible to achieve a comprehensive approach to the volume formation of the electron beam dose individually for each patient.

“Existing approaches to the production of forming devices are based on cutting or melting metal, which imposes significant restrictions on the use in daily medical practice, as it requires the presence of specialized premises, equipment and personnel,” Miloichikova said.

The use of the proposed polymer products, according to TPU researchers, will allow to quickly and qualitatively solve the clinical tasks of delivering the maximum radiation dose to the tumor and minimizing the impact on healthy surrounding tissues, and increase the effectiveness of treatment methods using electron beams. printing for the production of forming devices. They will search for new unique materials and use the proposed method for other types of radiation used in radiation therapy.

The work was carried out with the financial support of a grant from the Russian Science Foundation.

Related posts