Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Physics


Although the treatment of cancer continues to improve, the treatment of highgrade gliomas remains a major challenge; current treatments are palliative rather than curative. This is despite a variety of multimodal treatments options including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The median survival for patients with glioblastoma multiforme is less than one year after diagnosis and generally no patients survive five years post treatment.

The hypothesis underlying the work presented in this thesis is that local tumour control can be improved by exploiting elements with a high atomic number (Z) so as to increase the energy deposited in the tumour cells. The main aim is to use in vitro experiments to better understand, and consequently optimise, the role of the high-Z element for combination with chemo-radiotherapy and dose enhancement radiotherapy. This work goes part of the way to prove that combination chemo-radiotherapy can lead to outcomes that are more than simply additive and that high-atomic number nanostructured particles can be customised for radiotherapy to increase radiation-induced effects for the very radioresistant 9L cancer cells.