Dartmouth Researchers Photograph Radiation Beams in the Human Body Through the Cherenkov Effect

A scientific breakthrough may give the field of radiation oncology new tools to increase the precision and safety of radiation treatment in cancer patients by helping doctors “see” the powerful beams of a linear accelerator as they enter or exit the body.

We don't have x-ray vision. When we have an x-ray or mammogram, we cannot detect the radiation beam that passes through our bone or soft tissue, neither can our doctor.  But what if we could see x-rays? When we use powerful x-rays for cancer treatment, we could see how they hit the tumor. If we were off target, we could stop and make adjustments to improve accuracy. Pinpoint precision is important. The goal of radiation is to kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.

Read more at Norris Cotton Cancer Center's Focus newsletter.