Events Calendar

Michael Merchant (U. Manchester): Progress towards Biologically Augmented Treatment Planning for Proton Therapy at the University of Manchester
Tuesday 15 February 2022, 12:00pm - 01:00pm

Abstract: In this talk I will present research from the University of Manchester in the use of Monte Carlo computation models, from nanodosimetric simulation of DNA damage through to mechanistic models of DNA repair for the purpose of modelling the response at the cellular level to proton irradiation. The focus of this talk is the use of computational methods to improve the prediction of proton relative biological effectiveness (RBE). I will discuss the strategy and caveats of a mechanistic approach to bridge gaps in quantitative understanding of radiation biology to enable a variable parameter for proton RBE to be used in the optimisation of proton therapy treatment plans.



About the speaker: Dr Mike Merchant is a senior lecturer in Proton Therapy Physics in the PRECISE group (Proton Research at the Christie and Division of Cancer Sciences) at the Division of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, UK. Dr Merchant received a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from the University of Surrey in 2010, on the topic of beam optics of magnetic quadrupole probe forming systems, for the purpose of focussing beams of MeV ions to sub-micron spot sizes. During this time, he developed an interest in the use of ion microbeams to investigate the radiation response of living cells. Since moving to the University of Manchester in 2015 he has developed a primary research interest in the development of biologically augmented treatment planning for proton therapy based on nano-dosimetry and mechanistic modelling of DNA repair. Dr Merchant leads the in silico modelling activity for Proton Therapy within PRECISE. Dr Merchant led the technical design for the Christie Proton Research Beamline, a 250 MeV beamline in a dedicated research space at the new Christie proton therapy centre.

 Joint investment by the UK Department of Health and the Christie Hospital Charity into the Manchester Proton Therapy Centre funded the development of a dedicated proton therapy research space in the fourth treatment room at the Christie proton therapy centre. The research beamline features a Varian engineering scanning nozzle, and has the capability for pencil beam spot-scanning. Collaboration with Don Whitley Scientific Ltd has led to the development of a highly automated high-throughput hypoxia end-station, compatible with proton beam scanning for proton radiobiology. The Christie Proton Research Beamline is national resource for researchers to investigate the radiobiological response to proton irradiation.



Location : Virtual