The Djonov group focuses on investigating novel anti-cancer treatment strategies in the field of radiation oncology, specifically microbeam radiation therapy.
Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is a novel form of preclinical radiotherapy delivering spatially fractionated X-rays at dose rates orders of magnitude greater than those offered by conventional clinical regimens. The highly collimated X-ray beam allows for the heterogeneous delivery of therapeutic doses in a pattern of discrete, micrometre-wide beams that deposit high (peak) doses separated by regions of low-dose deposition (valleys). Currently, MRT is administered by third generation synchrotron sources allowing for dose delivery in fractions of a second. The unique relationship between dose rate and geometry has proven to effectively treat a variety of solid tumours that are often refractory to conventional treatment while, at the same time, promoting exceptional normal tissue sparing. The mechanisms governing the effects of MRT remain to be adequately defined, thus limiting the development of specific treatment strategies and ultimately its clinical translation.
Our research focuses on elucidating these mechanisms, which define the therapeutic potential of MRT. By employing a variety of tumour and normal tissue models our investigations focus on the following effects and applications of MRT: