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BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF RADIATION BY MICROSCOPIC APPROACHES

  • Kim, Eun-Hee (Department of Nuclear Engineering, Seoul National University)
  • Published : 2008.12.31

Abstract

Radiation has stochastic aspects in its generation, its choice of interaction mode during traveling in media, and its impact on living bodies. In certain circumstances, like in high dose environments resulting from low-LET radiation, the variance in its impact on a target volume is negligible. On the contrary, in low dose environments, especially when they are attributed to high-LET radiation, the impact on the target carries with it a large variance. This variation is more significant for smaller target volumes. Microdosimetric techniques, which have been developed to estimate the distribution of radiation energy deposited to cellular and subcellular-sized targets, contrast with macrodosimetric techniques which count only the average value. Since cells and DNA compounds are the critical targets in human bodies, microdosimetry, or dose estimation by microscopic approach, helps one better analyze the biological effects of radiation on the human body. By utilizing microbeam systems designed for individual cell irradiation, scientists have discovered that human cells exhibit radiosensitive reactions without being hit themselves (bystander effect). During the past 10 or more years, a new therapeutic protocol using discontinuous multiple micro-slit beams has been investigated for its clinical application. It has been suggested that the beneficial bystander effect is the essence of this protocol.

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