Application of Nanoparticle Materials in Radiation Therapy

  • James Chun Lam ChowEmail author
Reference work entry


Recently, studies on the application of nanoparticle materials in radiotherapy have become a very hot topic. Most of them focus on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer based on the dose and image contrast enhancement. In this chapter, the background and rationale of using nanoparticle materials in radiotherapy will be reviewed. Using heavy atom radiosensitizer in novel nanoparticle-enhanced radiotherapy such as gold nanoparticles can deliver radiation dose directly to tumor while sparing surrounding healthy tissues. As the radiosensitizer enhances the contrast of tumor in medical imaging, the accuracy of radiation beam targeting is increased. In addition, the radiosensitizer improves the dose absorption in the tumor. Given these important applications, this chapter will explore the basic studies on the nanoparticle-enhanced radiotherapy using gold nanoparticles with different sizes, shapes, and concentrations. We will look at dose enhancement through photon and electron interactions from the kilovoltage and megavoltage photon beams, and the synthesis of gold nanoparticles as well as various fabrication techniques such as the citrate reduction method will be reviewed. Focusing on the transport and delivery mechanism of nanoparticles to the cancer cell, we will explore the delivery efficiency related to the size and shape of the nanoparticle. For radiobiological effects on the nanoparticle application, different results from Monte Carlo, cell (in vitro), and preclinical (in vivo) studies will be reviewed, and find out how adding nanoparticle materials to the tumor can enhance both the radiation dose and image contrast at the target in radiotherapy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Radiation Medicine Program, Princess Margaret Cancer CentreUniversity Health NetworkTorontoCanada

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