WINK-TV Fort Myers: First-in-human trial tests faster proton therapy

A new first-in-human trial led by University of Cincinnati researchers suggests a certain radiation treatment, which delivers therapeutic doses of radiation in a fraction of a second, may hold promise as a potential treatment for tough-to-kill tumors.

The technology, called FLASH radiation treatment (FLASH RT), delivers radiation at dose rates that are more than 300 times higher than those used in conventional radiation treatments. This induces a phenomenon known as the FLASH effect, which reduces the harm that may occur to normal tissue surrounding a tumor during conventional radiation therapy, while still killing the cancer cells at the tumor site. 

“It differs from the conventional type of radiation therapy in that we can steer it differently, John Breneman, MD, principal investigator on the trial and a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, told Fort Myers' WINK-TV.  “So, a treatment that might typically take a minute would be delivered in a half a second. That can even further spare some of the normal tissue from the effects of radiation."

Breneman also serves as medical director of the Cincinnati Children's/UC Medical Center Proton Therapy Center where the trial was conducted.

John Perentesis, MD, research director of the Proton Therapy Center, said while the current research is limited to adults, the hope is that it can one day be applied to pediatric patients.

“One research question is, will FLASH be able to help us cure kids with D.I.P.G. or other tumors that we can’t cure right now?,” Perentesis said.

Watch the report on WINK-TV or WEGM-TV.

Radiology Today recently featured Emily Daugherty, MD, assistant professor of clinical radiation oncology at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, in an article about FLASH treatment. Read the Radiology Today article.

Read more about the research.

Featured photo at top of Dr. Emily Daugherty with a patient. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Marketing + Brand.

Related Stories