On the Cutting Edge of Cancer Treatment: Researching FLASH Radiation
Cancer patients treated with radiation therapy may be required to make daily trips to their cancer treatment center over the course of five, seven or more weeks to experience the full effects of their treatment. While beneficial, this fractional form of radiation therapy can cause serious side effects like burning, blistering, swelling, pain and other side effects in healthy tissue. This type of treatment can also be a barrier for patients with transportation, employment and childcare issues. FLASH radiation, a form of ultrahigh-dose precision radiation, can deliver an entire radiation dose in a single treatment. Dr. Adayabalam Balajee, director of the Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Laboratory at REAC/TS, is conducting early research on the effectiveness of FLASH as part of an ORAU-Directed Research and Development project with researchers at the Columbia University School of Medicine. In this episode, host Michael Holtz and Dr. Balajee discuss the promise of FLASH and the impact it could have on the future of cancer treatment. Balajee is presenting “Radiobiological Effects of FLASH on Human Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes: A Multiparametric Approach” at the 25th Nuclear Medical Defense Conference in Munich, Germany this week. To learn more about Dr. Balajee and the CBL, visit https://orise.orau.gov/reacts/cytogenetic-biodosimetry-laboratory.html.