Medical Physics Researcher Presents Hyperthermia Findings

Nava Paudel, Ph.D.

Aug. 11, 2014 | Presentations at the 56th annual meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) included a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) scientist’s findings related to his graduate study in the University of Toledo.

Nava Paudel, Ph.D., presented his research titled, “Nanoparticle-Aided Microwave Hyperthermia is Accompanied by Free Radical Generation and Enhanced Cell Kill,” an abstract of which was published in the June 2014 issue of Medical Physics.

Paudel is a resident in the Commission on the Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Program (CAMPEP)-accredited Therapeutic Medical Physics Residency Program in the Department of Radiation Oncology in the UAMS College of Medicine.

Hyperthermia can be used alone or in conjunction with radiation therapy or chemotherapy to produce and enhance cancer cell killing. Microwave hyperthermia uses non-ionizing microwave radiation to deposit energy within tissues and thereby elevate their temperature a few degrees over normal body temperature. The addition of nanoparticles to microwave hyperthermia may further sensitize the cell kill effects through selective heating of the nanoparticles loaded into the tumor.

While general understanding is that cell kill in hyperthermia takes place as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development called apoptosis, Paudel’s findings show that the cell kill effects in nanoparticle-aided microwave hyperthermia extend beyond hyperthermia and are mediated by free radicals generated by nanoparticles under the microwave field.

“Much more work is needed to further develop and verify these findings before translation into clinical investigation,” Paudel said.

The AAPM meeting was held July 20-24, 2014 in Austin, Texas.

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