957 Winter 2020 Using 21st Century Scientific Research to Improve the Use of Radiation in Cancer Therapy
Wednesday, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 29
Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne
Instructor: Evan Douple
This class will examine the exciting developments in science that are being integrated, along with digital precision diagnostic information, to provide for more effective protocols in the use of radiation for cancer therapy. New radiation therapies have utilized the acceleration of certain charged particles to enable a radiation dose to reach deep-seated tumors while sparing normal surface tissues. Chemicals have been synthesized to radio-sensitize the radio-resistant hypoxic cells found in many tumors. The timing of delivery of the radiotherapy and fractionation protocols for multiple treatments has also evolved based on our knowledge of the biological cycle or repair capacity of dividing tumor or normal cells. The goal is to kill tumor cells while sparing the surrounding tissues. Combining radiation therapy effectively with certain chemotherapeutic agents can be complementary, additive, or even synergistic. These advancements, coupled with the emerging genomics of molecular biology and progress in combining radiation with immunotherapy, should continue to improve cancer cure rates.
Evan Douple, an OLLI Board member, is a radiation health effects specialist with a PhD in radiation biophysics. He was a professor in the Dartmouth Medical School for 20 years, where his laboratory coordinated the biomedical engineering research program of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.