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Title: Radiation dosimetry for studying the late effects of radiotherapy
Author: Ntentas, Georgios
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 7048
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Evidence that radiation-related cardiovascular disease and second primary cancers can occur in cancer survivors following radiation therapy (RT) has emerged from several independent sources. Cardiotoxicity and second cancers are of particular concern for patients with good prognosis, such as those with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). HL patients are among the youngest to receive RT, which means that those who are cured of their cancer have decades-long natural life-expectancies during which treatment-related long-term toxicities may cause years of excess morbidity or premature mortality. A considerable amount of research has been conducted to investigate the risk of radiation-related cardiotoxicity and second cancers. However, there are still substantial gaps in knowledge. It is therefore important to improve our understanding regarding these risks and develop treatment approaches and survivorship care to minimise their impact on patients' quality of life. In this thesis, I have investigated the risk of congestive heart failure (CHF) in a cohort of 2619 HL survivors and presented, for the first time, dose-response relationships for risk of CHF versus cardiac radiation doses. I also validated the radiation dosimetry method used to estimate the cardiac doses in this study as well as for other reconstruction methods, versus a gold standard based on the patients' own computed tomography scans. Additionally, I investigated what effect the dose reconstruction errors had on the dose-response relationships. I then focused on modern RT methods and specifically on proton RT. Based on published dose-response relationships (including that developed in this thesis) I predicted cardiovascular and second cancer risks for patients treated with advanced RT. This thesis has provided new knowledge in the study of late effects in HL patients who were treated decades ago as well as for patients treated more recently with advanced RT methods. The results here can be used to facilitate progress towards personalised RT in terms of choosing the appropriate RT method by integrating individualised risk prediction in advanced RT treatment planning. The research here provides the basis for further work towards evidence-based case selection for HL patients for the first NHS proton therapy centres in the UK, opening in 2018-2021.
Supervisor: Aznar, Marianne ; Cutter, David ; Van Den Heuvel, Frank ; Darby, Sarah Sponsor: Cancer Research UK
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Radiation-related cardiac toxicity ; Cardiac radiation dose reconstruction ; Proton therapy for Hodgkin lymphoma ; Radiation-related cardiac disease ; Hodgkin lymphoma ; Retrospective dosimetry