The ANDANTE project will investigate the relative risk of neutrons compared to photons for tumourigenesis, as a function of dose and energy. The approach will be multidisciplinary, including physics measurements and modelling, molecular biology, radiobiology, and epidemiology. The relative risk of neutrons will be studied using human and animal stem cells irradiated with either photons or neutrons in vitro and analysed for early indicators of malignant transformations. Irradiated stem cells will be transplanted into mice to investigate progression into tumours. The experimental irradiation setup will be fully characterised and modelled in order to compare predicted molecular damage with biological results, following trolled irradiation with either photons or neutrons. A corresponding predictive model of the relative risk of cancer induction from photons or neutrons following paediatric radiotherapy will be developed and tested on clinical data, as a proof of principle, leading to a proposal for a prospective epidemiological study to validate the relative risk of neutrons on humans.
Professor at Applied Physics, Nuclear Engineering
Loma Linda, USA
Villigen Psi, Switzerland
Funding years 2012–2015