The Biological Physics, Medical Physics, High Energy Particle Physics, and Particle and Beams Groups of the Institute of Physics have come together to organise a meeting to discuss the novel techniques required to elucidate the mechanisms that determine the impact of ionising radiation on tissue.  Such techniques have the potential to significantly impact clinical practice in particle beam therapy, synergising interdisciplinary integration in the Physics of Life and wider collaborations in the U.K. such as through PoLNET to build bridges between physical and life scientists and biomedicine.

For example, proton beam therapy shows significant promise in tackling a range of cancers, traditionally using a Penning Ionization Gauge (PIG) ion source coupled to cyclotron technology, with recent developments using laser-based systems for particle generation showing huge potential—UKRI have provided seed-corn funding for the development of LhARA, a Laser-hybrid Accelerator for Radiobiological Applications, to serve the Ion Therapy Research Facility (ITRF) with a long-term vision is to transform the clinical practice of proton- and ion-beam therapy (IBT) by creating a fully automated, highly flexible system to harness the unique properties of laser-driven ion beams. However, full exploitation of particle generation facilities requires a range of developments from automated sample handling to fast feedback from the experimental end stations to the accelerator.  This requires that advances in a variety of branches of physics be harnessed. 

The joint meeting will be held at the Institute of Physics in London and will receive presentations on and promote discussion of the challenges in advancing radiobiology technology, including the underlying biology and biophysics, new accelerator systems, detector instrumentation and computing, and moving forwards into transforming biomedicine and clinical impact.

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