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IBA and Dutch university UMCG collab on FLASH therapy protocol

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | April 07, 2022
Rad Oncology Proton Therapy Women's Health

ConformalFLASH would instead utilize preoperative radiotherapy, in which fraction dose would increase and irradiated volume would decrease. This would spare patients from undergoing the standard 15 to 25 fractions required with radiotherapy following surgery, as well as improve the ability to identify the tumor site, enhance precision in delineating the tumor volume and likely lead to better surgical cosmetic outcomes.

It also would allow researchers to study the biological response of breast cancer to radiotherapy. UMCG is dedicating several biology and physics researchers to study the ability of FLASH to spare healthy tissues from radiation exposure. They also will work to define the clinical protocol to guide clinical research. IBA, meanwhile, will provide expertise in physics, biology and engineering.

UMCG will also provide the infrastructure of the Particle Therapy Research Center (PARTREC), a dedicated research facility that functions in synergy with the clinical UMCG Groningen Proton Therapy Center (GPTC). IBA will help prepare the GPTC for ConformalFLASH irradiations. Both will contribute funding, equipment and expertise.

"If ConformalFLASH proves to work effectively, treatment courses will be shortened, improving patient comfort. In the future there may even be a time where in certain cases patients may not require surgery post treatment with FLASH radiotherapy. This will however need to be assessed in research settings, which is exactly what this partnership is about," Nicolas Denef, proton therapy product management director at IBA, told HCB News.

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