Workshop: The Role of Oxygen in Radiation Therapy

Date: 2023-09-04 09:00 - 2023-09-05 16:30

Address: Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien, Lilla Frescativägen 4A, Stockholm

Venue: Beijer Hall

The workshop
is organised by the Centre for Radiation Protection Research, Stockholm University together with the Medical Radiation Physics Division, Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, and the National Committee for Radiation Protection Research at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

(RT) is one of the main approaches for cancer treatment used alone or in
combination with chemotherapy. Different types of radiation beams are currently
used, such as photons or charged particles such as protons and carbon ions (12C).
Radiation enables to kill proliferating cancer cells, while limiting the
effects on healthy tissues. The main cellular target of ionizing radiation is
the DNA. In general, RT works by causing cellular genomic damages, either
directly by interacting and injuring DNA, or indirectly ionizing water
molecules. The later induces the formation of Reactive Oxygen Species
(ROS), such as superoxide anion (•O−2), singlet oxygen (1O2),
the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the extremely reactive hydroxyl radical (•OH)
that may alter the DNA and protein structures, as well as lead to lipid

Oxygen, thus, is one of the most effective dose-modifying agents, sensitizing cells to radiation. Oxygen causes an “amplification” of radiation-induced DNA damage, which is commonly described by the oxygen enhancement ratio (OER). The OER varies between 1 and approximately 3, respectively, when going from hypoxic (no oxygen) conditions to normoxic conditions of irradiation. As consequence, tumour oxygenation can decide the success of the radiotherapy treatment for patients, where oxygen has to be present at the time of the radiation delivery to allow for increased DNA damage. On the other hand, healthy organs are highly oxygenated and as consequence might be very sensitive to radiation.

The aim of this workshop is to summarize and review the current knowledge on the role of oxygen in radiation therapy and the ways of accounting for it in vivo. There are many factors that, to different degrees, influence the responses of both normal and cancer tissues to radiation in the presence of oxygen. What is the contribution of oxygen to radiation damage? How does oxygen impact radiation response of cancer and healthy tissue? Can oxygen damage be modulated to reduce radiation toxicity or to improve tumour control? Is it possible to predict individual response to radiation exposure in relation to the oxygenation of the tumour but also the healthy organs? The answer to these questions requires close collaboration between researchers in the fields of Radiobiology, Physics, Radiation Oncology and Biostatistics. Experts from each field will present their views in an attempt to integrate the different perspectives and come up with new approaches to answering the questions.

We hope that this workshop will continue in the spirit of our previous workshops (2014 – New school versus old school radiobiology, 2016 – The risk of second cancer from therapeutic irradiations, and 2018 – Current challenges of patient re-irradiation) and generate new ideas that will ultimately improve both radiological protection of healthy individuals and the safety and efficacy of treating cancer patients.

More information and registration on the workshops website>

Organisers: Iuliana Toma-Dasu – Medical Radiation Physics, Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, Joao Seco – German Cancer Research Center – DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany, Emely Kjellsson Lindblom – Medical Radiation Physics, Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, Andrzej Wojcik – Centre for Radiation Protection Research, Stockholm University.

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