Lunch colloquium: Why vampires should avoid accelerated protons: The birth of Protondynamic Therapy

By Dr. Theodossis A.Theodossiou,

Dept. of Radiation Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, Radium Hospital, Oslo University Hospital.

Vampires like Bram Stokers legendary Dracula have been fascinating, thrilling and scaring us for centuries. Could this folk myth and in specific their vulnerability to and apprehension of light be linked to an anticancer treatment called Photodynamic therapy of cancer (PDT)?

In PDT, light of a specific wavelength activates a photosensitive drug (photosensitiser) to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), primarily singlet oxygen and kill the cancer cells.
PDT nevertheless is limited by the depth of light penetration in the tissue and even red light does not go deeper then several millimetres.

On the other hand, radiation therapies like proton therapy can reach deep into tissue and can be beneficial to deep lying cancers like brain cancers, e.g. glioblastoma multiforme. Proton therapy has the additional advantage of tumour specificity over other radiotherapies, due to its characteristic Bragg peak.

Here in the Oslo Cyclotron Lab, with the help of our colleagues from Medical and Nuclear Physics, a new technology has been launched showing for the first time the ability of photosensitisers to be activated by accelerated protons – protondynamic therapy.

We envisage this emerging technology to work in combination with conventional proton therapy significantly increasing the therapeutic potential of the latter. We have recently provided proof of principle of the efficacy of protondynamic therapy in cells and are now working towards establishing it as a clinical treatment modality.

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Theodossis A. Theodossiou received his BSc in Physics from the University of Athens in 1990, and his PhD in Physics from the University of Birmingham in 1995. He worked at UCL on PDT in both a research and clinical capacity. He joined OUS in 2013 with a Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship.

Theodossiou is the initiator, author and co-coordinator of two FET OPEN projects: LUMIBLAST and FRINGE, and one Euronanomed II project: PCInano. European Commission Innovation Radar Prize for Innovative Science 2019. He is also the initiator author and coordinator of the Helse Sør Øst Project "Protonic".

Published Oct. 29, 2019 8:59 PM - Last modified Oct. 29, 2019 8:59 PM