Minibeam radiation therapy (MBRT) is an innovative synchrotron radiotherapy technique able to shift the normal tissue complication probability curves to significantly higher doses. However, its exploration was hindered due to the limited and expensive beamtime at synchrotrons. The aim of this work was to develop a cost-effective equipment to perform systematic radiobiological studies in view of MBRT. Tumor control for various tumor entities will be addressable as well as studies to unravel the distinct biological mechanisms involved in normal and tumor tissues responses when applying MBRT. With that aim, a series of modifications of a small animal irradiator were performed to make it suitable for MBRT experiments. In addition, the brains of two groups of rats were irradiated. Half of the animals received a standard irradiation, the other half, MBRT. The animals were followed-up for 6.5 months. Substantial brain damage was observed in the group receiving standard RT, in contrast to the MBRT group, where no significant lesions were observed. This work proves the feasibility of the transfer of MBRT outside synchrotron sources towards a small animal irradiator.
Y. Prezado, M. Dos Santos, W. Gonzalez, G. Jouvion, C. Guardiola, S. Heinrich, D. Labiod, M. Juchaux, L. Jourdain, C. Sebrie & F. Pouzoulet