Back to the Future: Very High-Energy Electrons (VHEEs) and Their Potential Application in Radiation Therapy

Nom de la revue
Maria Grazia Ronga, Marco Cavallone, Annalisa Patriarca, Amelia Maia Leite, Pierre Loap, Vincent Favaudon, Gilles Créhange, Ludovic De Marzi

The development of innovative approaches that would reduce the sensitivity of healthy tissues to irradiation while maintaining the efficacy of the treatment on the tumor is of crucial importance for the progress of the efficacy of radiotherapy. Recent methodological developments and innovations, such as scanned beams, ultra-high dose rates, and very high-energy electrons, which may be simultaneously available on new accelerators, would allow for possible radiobiological advantages of very short pulses of ultra-high dose rate (FLASH) therapy for radiation therapy to be considered. In particular, very high-energy electron (VHEE) radiotherapy, in the energy range of 100 to 250 MeV, first proposed in the 2000s, would be particularly interesting both from a ballistic and biological point of view for the establishment of this new type of irradiation technique. In this review, we examine and summarize the current knowledge on VHEE radiotherapy and provide a synthesis of the studies that have been published on various experimental and simulation works. We will also consider the potential for VHEE therapy to be translated into clinical contexts.