Hadrontherapy is one of the most refined radiotherapic technique for tumours treatment. It uses hadrons, that is to say charged particles made up from quarks, as protons and ions. These particles, contrary to what occurs in radiotherapy, can be directed with precision against the tumour mass, with minimum risks to hit vital organs and surrounding healthy tissues. In particular ions have a higher radiobiological effect: they can hit in fact deep tumours, for this reason they are particular indicated for radioresistent tumours, such as cerebral tumours, the ones of the head-neck area and lung and pancreas carcinoma. Therapy with protons is instead indicated for tumours located near organs at risk, such as eye, head base, or along the backbone, because they allow to direct the beam form in a more refined way.
Up today the only instruments able to produce protons and ions as well for hadrontherapy are synchrotrons: accelerators machines, much more complex, bulkier and expensive than cyclotrons. A synchrotron consists indeed of a ring with a diameter of at least 25 metres, while a cyclotron is a compact instrument with a diameter of 5 metres and with a considerably lower cost. In the context of its studies for the development of new syncrotrons, Infn has worked for the development of a multiparticle cyclotron, able to provide protons and carbon ions with the energy required for hadrontherapic treatments. "The new cyclotron offers a great technological advantage. Thanks to it, for the first time a doctor will have the opportunity to choose to produce ions or protons, according to the kind of tumour, with a compact, easily to manage and decidedly cheaper instrument than the traditional one. With the ions produced by this new machine, it will possible to treat tumours at a maximum depth of 18 centimetres", explain Giacomo Cuttone and Luciano Calabretta of Infn Southern National Laboratories.
There are in the world several centres for hadrontherapy, most of all in Japan and in the United States. In Italy there is the sperimental project Catana (Hadrontherapy Centre and Advanced Nuclear Applications). Started at the Infn Southern National Laboratories in cooperation with Catania University, Catana is dedicated to the treatment with protons of eye tumour (up today the treated patients are 112). Concerning hadrontherapy with ions, there are in Europe two structures under construction: one is the Heidelberg University clinic, in Germany, the other is the National Centre of Hadrontherapy that will rise in Pavia, from the collaboration between the Cnao foundation and Infn.
The new cyclotron developed by Infn and realized by Iba will be able to enrich the therapeutic power of hadrontherapy centres.
Barbara Gallavotti | alfa
Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy
22.11.2017 | Lomonosov Moscow State University
Nano-watch has steady hands
22.11.2017 | University of Vienna
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy