Dependence of Induced Biological Damage on the Energy Distribution and Intensity of Clinical Intra-Operative Radiotherapy Electron Beams

Publication Name

International Journal of Molecular Sciences


The survival fraction of epithelial HaCaT cells was analysed to assess the biological damage caused by intraoperative radiotherapy electron beams with varying energy spectra and intensities. These conditions were achieved by irradiating the cells at different depths in water using nominal 6 MeV electron beams while consistently delivering a dose of 5 Gy to the cell layer. Furthermore, a Monte Carlo simulation of the entire irradiation procedure was performed to evaluate the molecular damage in terms of molecular dissociations induced by the radiation. A significant agreement was found between the molecular damage predicted by the simulation and the damage derived from the analysis of the survival fraction. In both cases, a linear relationship was evident, indicating a clear tendency for increased damage as the averaged incident electron energy and intensity decreased for a constant absorbed dose, lowering the dose rate. This trend suggests that the radiation may have a more pronounced impact on surrounding healthy tissues than initially anticipated. However, it is crucial to conduct additional experiments with different target geometries to confirm this tendency and quantify the extent of this effect.

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Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad



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