Research Area: Physics of Radiation Damage by Ions
Motivation: There are at least two reasons to be interested in the radiation damage done by energetic ions: ion-beam cancer therapy (IBCT) and radiation protection in space. Radiation damage assessment is necessary in order to predict the results of therapy or estimate the effect of galactic cosmic rays (GCR). Many effects on different scales are involved in the scenario, which starts with the incidence of an energetic ion on a biological tissue. These effects are qualitatively and quantitatively different from those involved in damage done by x-rays. The understanding and assessment of the mechanisms involved in radiation damage done by ions requires fundamental research in physics, chemistry, and biology.
- Multiscale approach: The phenomenon-based multiscale approach to radiation damage, has been developed in a series of works [1-8]. It is aimed at the fundamental understanding of the key effects involved in ion-beam therapy on different scales. The multiscale approach joined together a
wide spectrum of aspects, such as ion propagation in a medium , details of ionization of the dense medium , radial and longitudinal distribution of the dose [1, 7], energy spectrum of secondary electrons and their transport [1-3, 5, 7], heat transfer from ion tracks and hydrodynamic effects caused by it [4,6,8], different pathways of DNA damage[2-4, 6, 8] complex damage assessment , and others.
- Why ions? The success of heavy-ion-beam therapies, employed in Germany and Japan, stems from several advantages of these therapies over the common photon therapies.
These advantages can be described in the following way. First, the Bragg peak in the linear energy transfer (LET)
dependence on the penetration depth gives an opportunity to better localize the dose distribution on the targeted area. Provided that the targeted radiation damage requires a certain dose, the overall delivered dose by ions is smaller than that delivered by photons. This makes the ratio of the doses delivered by photons to that of ions, the relative biological effectiveness (RBE), larger than one. This advantage is substantiated by the possibility of achieving relatively sharp edges in the dose distribution, which spares vital organs, not touched by the tumor, from irradiation, thus reducing side effects. Second, the concentration of radiation damage caused by high-LET ion irradiation is significantly larger than that of photon irradiation. This changes the radiation damage not only quantitatively (by increasing the dose localization) but qualitatively as well, i.e., the pathways of radiation damage change so that the direct effects dominate the indirect ones. This solves the problem of cell resistively to irradiation and reduces the dose required locally in order to achieve the desired biological effect even for hypoxic tumors. Alternatively, because of the higher RBE, radiation damage by, more rare than protons, heavy ions in GCR may be quite significant. More information can be found in the review paper .
- Key references:
- E. Surdutovich, O. I. Obolensky, E. Scifoni, I. Pshenichnov, I. Mishustin, A. V. Solov'yov,
and W. Greiner,
Ion-induced electron production in tissue-like media and DNA damage mechanisms, Eur. Phys. J. D 51, 63-71 (2009).
- A.V. Solov'yov, E. Surdutovich, E. Scifoni, I. Mishustin, and W. Greiner, Physics of ion beam cancer therapy: a multiscale approach, Phys. Rev. E 79, 011909 (2009).
- E. Surdutovich and A. V. Solov'yov, A physical palette for the ion-beam cancer therapy,
Europhys. News, 40/2, 21 (2009).
- M. Toulemonde, E. Surdutovich, and A.V. Solov’yov, Temperature and pressure spikes in ion-beam cancer therapy, Phys. Rev. E 80, 031913 (2009).
- E. Scifoni, E.
Surdutovich, and A.V. Solov'yov, Spectra of secondary electrons generated in water by energetic ions, Phys. Rev. E 81, 021903 (2010).
- E. Surdutovich, A.V. Yakubovich, and A.V. Solov'yov, Multiscale approach to radiation damage induced by ion beams, Eur. Phys. J. D 60, 101 (2010).
- E. Surdutovich and A.V. Solov'yov, Shock wave initiated by ion passing through liquid water, Phys. Rev. E 82, 051915 (2010).
- E. Surdutovich, A.V. Yakubovich, and A.V. Solov’yov, Biodamage via shock waves initiated by irradiation with ions, Nat. Sci. Rep. 3, 1289 (2013).
- E. Surdutovich and A.V. Solov’yov, Multiscale approach to the physics of radiation damage with ions, Eur. Phys. J. D 68, 353 (2014) (colloquium paper).
- E. Surdutovich and A.V. Solov'yov, Transport of secondary electrons and reactive species in ion tracks, Eur. Phys. J. D 69, 193 (2015).
- A.V. Verkhovtsev, E. Surdutovich, and A.V. Solov’yov, Multiscale approach predictions for biological outcomes in ion-beam cancer therapy, Nat. Sci. Rep. 6, 27654 (2016).