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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2018 Mar 15;100(4):816-831. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2017.12.260. Epub 2017 Dec 21.

Proceedings of the National Cancer Institute Workshop on Charged Particle Radiobiology.

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Department of Radiation Physics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Electronic address:
Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, Texas.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland.


In April 2016, the National Cancer Institute hosted a multidisciplinary workshop to discuss the current knowledge of the radiobiological aspects of charged particles used in cancer therapy to identify gaps in that knowledge that might hinder the effective clinical use of charged particles and to propose research that could help fill those gaps. The workshop was organized into 10 topics ranging from biophysical models to clinical trials and included treatment optimization, relative biological effectiveness of tumors and normal tissues, hypofractionation with particles, combination with immunotherapy, "omics," hypoxia, and particle-induced second malignancies. Given that the most commonly used charged particle in the clinic currently is protons, much of the discussion revolved around evaluating the state of knowledge and current practice of using a relative biological effectiveness of 1.1 for protons. Discussion also included the potential advantages of heavier ions, notably carbon ions, because of their increased biological effectiveness, especially for tumors frequently considered to be radiation resistant, increased effectiveness in hypoxic cells, and potential for differentially altering immune responses. The participants identified a large number of research areas in which information is needed to inform the most effective use of charged particles in the future in clinical radiation therapy. This unique form of radiation therapy holds great promise for improving cancer treatment.

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