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The Use of Biomaterials in Internal Radiation Therapy

Milborne, Ben; Arafat, Abul; Layfield, Rob; Thompson, Alexander; Ahmed, Ifty

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Ben Milborne

Abul Arafat

Professor of Protein Biochemistry


Radiotherapy has become one of the most prominent and effective modalities for cancer treatment and care. Ionising radiation, delivered either from external or internal sources, can be targeted to cancerous cells causing damage to DNA that can induce apoptosis. External beam radiotherapy delivers either photon radiation (x-rays or gamma rays) or particle radiation (neutrons or protons) in a targeted manner to specific tumour locations. Internal radiotherapy involves placing radioactive sources within the body to deliver localised doses of therapeutic radiation to tumours using short range radionuclides. Biomaterials have been developed to allow more precise targeting of radiotherapy in order to reduce toxicity to surrounding healthy tissues and increase treatment efficacy. These unique biomaterials have been developed from polymers, glasses and ceramics. Polymeric materials have been used to both displace healthy tissue from tumours receiving radiation, and to deliver radioactive sources into the body. These polymers can respond to various stimuli, such as radiation or reactive oxygen species, to deliver therapeutic payloads to target tissue during or post radiotherapy. Glass-based biomaterials doped with radionuclides have also been developed to provide in situ radiotherapy. Novel biomaterials that can enhance the synergistic effect of other treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy, continue to be developed. Theranostic materials that are capable of providing diagnostic information whilst simultaneously delivering a therapeutic effect to enhance radiotherapy are also briefly reviewed.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 6, 2020
Online Publication Date May 12, 2020
Publication Date May 12, 2020
Deposit Date Jun 16, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 16, 2020
Journal Recent Progress in Materials
Print ISSN 2689-5846
Publisher LIDSEN Publishing Inc.
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 2
Article Number 34
Keywords Radiation therapy; biomaterials; cancer; brachytherapy; radiotherapy; radionuclides; glass; oncology
Public URL
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