Biological validation of new radiotherapy modalities is essential to understand their therapeutic potential. Antiprotons have been proposed for cancer therapy due to enhanced dose deposition provided by antiproton-nucleon annihilation. We assessed cellular DNA damage and relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of a clinically relevant antiproton beam. Despite a modest LET (∼19 keV/μm), antiproton spread out Bragg peak (SOBP) irradiation caused significant residual γ-H2AX foci compared to X-ray, proton and antiproton plateau irradiation. RBE of ∼1.48 in the SOBP and ∼1 in the plateau were measured and used for a qualitative effective dose curve comparison with proton and carbon-ions. Foci in the antiproton SOBP were larger and more structured compared to X-rays, protons and carbon-ions. This is likely due to overlapping particle tracks near the annihilation vertex, creating spatially correlated DNA lesions. No biological effects were observed at 28-42 mm away from the primary beam suggesting minimal risk from long-range secondary particles.
|Publication status||Published - 11 Jun 2013|