Funding research locally

Proton therapy

Jason ParsonsDr Jason Parsons

Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool

 

The radiobiology of proton therapy

Radiotherapy is still the most effective cancer treatment, and recently there has been a growth in the use of proton beam therapy.

This is because proton therapy delivers higher doses of radiation to the cancer, whilst sparing normal tissue from the adverse effects of the radiation.

Importantly, the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool contains currently the only proton unit in the UK, used for treating patients with cancers of the eye. However, our knowledge of how protons specifically act to kill cancer cells is not entirely understood.

It is generally thought that the DNA in cancer cells is the principal target for radiotherapy, including protons, and that the accumulation of specific types of DNA damage cause cancer cells to die. This research project will therefore investigate the DNA damage induced by protons, but also to understand how cancer cells repair this DNA damage which limits the effectiveness of proton therapy.

This work will ultimately lead to improved proton therapy procedures for more effective treatment of cancer.

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