Laser-driven IORT

Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy (IORT) is an auxiliary therapy to surgical removal of oncologic diseases.

It is performed by directly irradiating residual specific areas of a tumor bed during surgical procedures (for breast tumors, it has been observed that 85% of recurrences happen in the scar tissue area).

The most common IORT procedure makes use of relativistic electrons with energy in the range 2-15 MeV.

From the biologic point of view, single-dose IORT effectiveness is hypothesized to be two to three times the one of fractionated radiotherapy, so that 15 Gy of IORT is equivalent to 30-45 Gy of fractionated external beam irradiation.

The possibility to use a laser-driven electron source for radiotherapy is attracting increasing attention of the international scientific community (e.g. see "La Recherche" n. 424, November 2008 and "Physics World", September 19, 2008).

  • Material to learn more (referring to my work):
    • M. Martin, Laser Accelerated Radiotherapy: Is It On Its Way to the Clinic?. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 101(7), 450-451 (2009) (read the article)
    • E. Cartlidge, Lasers slim down radiotherapy equipment. Physics World, Sep. 19 (2008) (read the article)
    • C. Michaut, Radiothérapie miniature. La Recherche N°424 - 11/2008 (read the article)
    • Report on the Italian National TV-News, Rai1 (in italian, flash plugin needed) (watch)

I have filed as inventor for European Patent No. 09425435,6-2319 submitted on October 30th, 2009 with title Radiological treatment laser device and related surgical apparatus.