Microbeam Radiation Therapy: Narrow X-rays for big impact

  • 18 October 2023
  • 13:00 - 14:00
  • DAV.0.29

Speaker: Dr Jenny Spiga

Dr Jenny Spiga

Jenny is a new lecturer in Physics at Loughborough University. She is part of the Applied Radiation and Medical Physics Group, and specialises in dosimetry, Monte-Carlo simulations and experiments for new radiation therapy techniques that employ the latest X-ray sources. Prior to joining this position, Jenny was an Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick, UK, which she joined in 2017 as a Daphne Jackson Fellow first and STFC IAA Fellow then. Jenny graduated in Physics and got her PhD from the University of Cagliari, Italy, during which she started a long-lasting collaboration with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. Jenny’s research focuses on Microbeam Radiation Therapy as a novel therapeutic approach to overcome radioresistant tumours.

In UK, over 275,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year, and nearly half of them receive radiotherapy as part of their treatment. Radiotherapy aims to kill cancer cells, whilst sparing normal tissues. However, not all cancers can be treated, including brain tumours in young children, as radiation can affect normal brain development.

Microbeam Radiation Therapy (MRT) may allow treatment of these cancers. It uses X-ray microbeams narrower than a human hair, sectioned like comb’s teeth, to blast tumours with radiation while sparing healthy tissue. MRT is delivered with synchrotrons, intended for scientific use.

In this presentation I will showcase recent advances in Microbeam Radiation Therapy, including the potential for combining MRT with dose enhancement and its progress towards clinical exploitation with the study of new compact sources which could be installed in hospitals.


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