Heavy ions and X-rays in brain tumor treatment : a comparison of their biological effects on tissue slice cultures
Michel Guy André Mittelbronn
Patrick Nikolaus Harter
- Background: In this interdisciplinary project, the biological effects of heavy ions are compared to those of X-rays using tissue slice culture preparations from rodents and humans. Advantages of this biological model are the conservation of an organotypic environment and the independency from genetic immortalization strategies used to generate cell lines. Its open access allows easy treatment and observation via live-imaging microscopy. Materials and methods: Rat brains and human brain tumor tissue are cut into 300 micro m thick tissue slices. These slices are cultivated using a membrane-based culture system and kept in an incubator at 37°C until treatment. The slices are treated with X-rays at the radiation facility of the University Hospital in Frankfurt at doses of up to 40 Gy. The heavy ion irradiations were performed at the UNILAC facility at GSI with different ions of 11.4 A MeV and fluences ranging from 0.5–10 x 106 particles/cm². Using 3D-confocal microscopy, cell-death and immune cell activation of the irradiated slices are analyzed. Planning of the irradiation experiments is done with simulation programs developed at GSI and FIAS. Results: After receiving a single application of either X-rays or heavy ions, slices were kept in culture for up to 9d post irradiation. DNA damage was visualized using gamma H2AXstaining. Here, a dose-dependent increase and time-dependent decrease could clearly be observed for the X-ray irradiation. Slices irradiated with heavy ions showed less gamma H2AX-positive cells distributed evenly throughout the slice, even though particles were calculated to penetrate only 90–100 micro m into the slice. Conclusions: Single irradiations of brain tissue, even at high doses of 40 Gy, will result neither in tissue damage visible on a macroscopic level nor necrosis. This is in line with the view that the brain is highly radio-resistant. However, DNA damage can be detected very well in tissue slices using gamma H2AX-immuno staining. Thus, slice cultures are an excellent tool to study radiation-induced damage and repair mechanisms in living tissues.
Collapse of flow: probing the order of the phase transition
- We discuss the present collective flow signals for the phase transition to the quark-gluon plasma (QGP) and the collective flow as a barometer for the equation of state (EoS). We emphasize the importance of the flow excitation function from 1 to 50A GeV: here the hydrodynamicmodel has predicted the collapse of the v1-flow at ~ 10A GeV and of the v2-flow at ~ 40A GeV. In the latter case, this has recently been observed by the NA49 collaboration. Since hadronic rescattering models predict much larger flow than observed at this energy, we interpret this observation as potential evidence for a first order phase transition at high baryon density pB.
An introduction to mini black holes at LHC
- Relying on the existing estimates for the production cross sections of mini black holes in models with large extra dimensions, we review strategies for identifying those objects at collider experiments. We further consider a possible stable final state of such black holes and discuss their characteristic signatures. Keywords: Black holes