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Behavioral and Pathologic Differences in Mice Exposed to Proton Minibeam Arrays Versus Proton Broad Beams

J Eley

J Eley1*, T Wolfe2, E Vichaya2, C Quini2, A Chadha2, C Zhang1 , J Davis3, N Sahoo2, F Dilmanian3, S Krishnan2, (1) University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, (2) The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, (3) Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY


SU-C-204-2 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 1:00 PM - 1:55 PM Room: 204

Purpose: Minibeam therapy using protons or light-ions offers a theoretical reduction of biologic damage to tissues upstream of a tumor compared to broad-beam therapy while providing equal tumor control. The purpose of this study was to investigate behavioral and pathologic differences in mice after exposure of healthy brain to proton minibeam arrays versus proton broad beams.

Methods: Twenty-four C57BL/6J juvenile mice were divided into 5 study arms: sham irradiation (NoRT), broad-beam 10 Gy (BB10), minibeam 10Gy (MB10), broad-beam 30 Gy (BB30), and minibeam 30 Gy (MB30), approximate integral entrance doses. Circular beams of 100 MeV protons with 7-mm diameter were delivered laterally through the brain, either as broad beams or as planar minibeam arrays having 300-micron beam width and 1-mm spacing on center. Mice were followed for 8 months using standard behavioral tests. Pathologic studies were carried out at 8 months after irradiation.

Results: Peak entrance doses were 10.0, 23.8, 30.0, and 71.3 Gy for mice in BB10, MB10, BB30, and MB30, respectively. Despite the high single-fraction doses, no animals showed signs of radiation sickness or neurophysical impairment over the 8-month study duration. The Morris water maze alternate-starting-position trial showed significant evidence of better spatial learning for mice in MB10 versus BB10 (p=0.026), but other behavioral tests showed no significant differences. Glial fibrillary acidic protein stains showed gliosis in arms BB10, BB30, and MB30 but not in NoRT or MB10. A secondary finding was categorically higher epilation in broad-beam arms compared with their minibeam dose counterparts.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate trends that, despite the higher peak doses, proton minibeam therapy can reduce radiation side effects in shallow tissue and brain compared to proton broad-beam therapy. As the behavioral findings were mixed, confirmation studies are needed with larger numbers of animals.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: AAPM Research Seed Funding Grant

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