The University of Washington (UW) has acquired the Xstrahl Life Sciences SARRP (small animal radiation research platform) with the goal of combining it with their Pre-Clinical Proton Therapy Facility. The combination of these two research platforms generates a unique facility that allows the analysis and a better understanding of the effects of protons in tumors and healthy tissues in comparison to x-rays.
UW’s proton research platform is able to generate proton beams down to 0.5 millimeter diameter, and this technology can now be complemented by the sophisticated imaging guidance and monitoring systems of SARRP. Operators can now easily conduct pre-clinical research based on x-ray and/or Proton irradiation with unmatched precision (200 µm). The powerful SARRP device allows researchers to accurately target several types of cancers through a sharp beam edge, while minimizing scatter. SARRP’s Muriplan pre-clinical treatment planning system is the fastest system currently available, taking less than 4 seconds to assess treatment parameters and reducing possible setup inaccuracies.
“This collaboration is exciting on multiple levels. Proton Therapy is now becoming much more accessible to patients. Mirroring our thinking behind the SARRP, this facility allows researchers to test therapies that are available in the clinic within a preclinical setting but also allows testing of clinical protocols not yet tried. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the multidisciplinary team at University of Washington, one of the leading cancer treatment centers in the USA,” said the COO of Xstrahl Life, Adrian Treverton in a news release. “Dr. Eric Ford, Associate Professor in Medical Physics and Director of this unique facility was one of the early pioneers of the SARRP research platform during his tenure at Johns Hopkins University. It is great to be collaborating with him once more, on this exciting new project.”
Dr. George Sandison, Vice Chair for Medical Physics at UW, added “we expect interested investigators from around the world to be openly accommodated in the use of this facility. There are studies already underway at this facility including Monte Carlo treatment planning and optimization studies, and DNA double strand break and lesion cluster analysis. We have many research projects planned including microvascular damage studies following hypofractionated therapy, inherently adaptive spatiotemporal optimization based on biological models of response and both acute and chronic PET functional imaging analysis assessment of response.”
“This exciting new facility will provide a broad spectrum of researchers and clinicians at UW, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchison Cancer Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital and other affiliates a powerful tool to push forward the boundaries of our knowledge regarding the effects of multimodality therapeutic radiation on patients. It will allow exploration of many physical, molecular and genetic determinates of response to proton irradiation. Knowledge not only of tumor radiation response but also normal tissue radiation response and immune response will be gleaned. A whole vista of cutting edge research possibilities has been opened to us with this new Proton-X-ray SARRP” concluded Dr. Nina Mayr, Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at UW.