Cicon, Leah

Project title: Gold nanoparticle mediated cancer radiotherapy

Department: Physics and Astronomy

Faculty supervisor: Dr. Devika Chithrani

"Gold is a high atomic number material that can enhance the radiation dose through Compton and photoelectric effect. The goal of this project is to use gold nanoparticles to target tumor cells for to enhance the local radiation dose during radiotherapy.

We will use head and neck cancer cell line, CAL-27, as our tumor model. We will use linear accelerator at BC cancer agency for our radiation experiments. Tumor cells will be targeted with GNPs followed by radiation. We will assess the damage by mapping the damage to DNA and other organelles in tumor cells.

Local improvement in radiation dose within tumor cells could improve the tumor cell killing while protecting the surrounding healthy tissue and organs. These novel technologies could improve the quality of life in cancer patients in the near future."