Marco Durante

Marco Durante
GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung | GSI · Biophysics & Medical Developments

Ph.D.

About

735
Publications
109,203
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
15,554
Citations
Introduction
Marco Durante dedicated his research efforts to the biophysics of heavy ions, with applications in cancer therapy and space radiation protection. He worked on heavy ion biophysics in several institutes in USA, Europe, and Japan. He is currently Director of the Biophysics Department of the GSI Helmholtz Center (Darmstadt, Germany), full professor of Physics at the University of Darmstadt, and President of the International Association for Radiation Research (IARR).
Additional affiliations
October 2008 - present
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Position
  • W3 Full professor of Physics
November 2007 - present
GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
November 2007 - January 2016
GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
Position
  • Head of Department
Education
November 1989 - June 1992
October 1983 - February 1989

Publications

Publications (735)
Article
Purpose: In this study, we performed biological verification measurements of cell survival of a 12C ion irradiation plan employing a high-resolution 3D culture setup. This allowed, in particular, to access the cell inactivation in the low-dose regions close to the target area. Materials and methods: We established the protocol for a 3D culture s...
Article
Galactic cosmic rays (GCR) are among the main deterrents to manned space exploration. Currently, the most realistic way to reduce the dangers caused by GCR to acceptable levels is passive shielding. Light materials guarantee the strongest dose attenuation per unit mass. High-density polyethylene is considered the gold standard for radiation protect...
Article
Background: Ion beam therapy allows for substantial sparing of normal tissues. Besides deterministic normal-tissue complications, stochastic long-term effects like secondary cancer (SC) induction are of importance when comparing different treatment modalities. Purpose: To develop a modeling approach for comparison of SC risk in proton and carbon...
Article
Background and purpose The FLASH effect is a potential breakthrough in radiotherapy because ultra-high dose-rate irradiation can substantially widen the therapeutic window. While the normal tissue sparing at high doses and short irradiation times has been demonstrated with electrons, photons, and protons, so far evidence with heavy ions is limited...
Article
Helium ion beam therapy for the treatment of cancer was one of several developed and studied particle modalities in the 1950’s, leading to clinical trials beginning in 1975 at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The trial shutdown was followed by decades of research and clinical silence on the topic while proton and carbon ion therapy made d...
Article
Purpose Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors has an enormous potential in therapy of metastatic cancers. Immunotherapy is generally combined with local treatments, such as radiotherapy. The time schedule of drug-radiation combination is largely based on empirical observations, and a comprehensive predictive model would be needed to optimize tre...
Article
Full-text available
The exposure to galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) is a major health concern for astronauts. Crewed missions with durations of several years are foreseen in future space exploration projects such as permanent habitats on the Moon and flights to Mars. This aim requires elaborate space radiation shielding concepts and a proper understanding of the under...
Article
Full-text available
Background Variable relative biological effectiveness (vRBE) in proton therapy might significantly modify the prediction of RBE-weighted dose delivered to a patient during proton therapy. In this study we will present a method to quantify the biological range extension of the proton beam, which results from the application of vRBE approach in RBE-w...
Article
Full-text available
Fiducial markers are used for image guidance to verify the correct positioning of the target for the case of tumors that can suffer interfractional motion during proton therapy. The markers should be visible on daily imaging, but at the same time, they should produce minimal streak artifacts in the CT scans for treatment planning and induce only sl...
Article
Full-text available
After decades of research on low-Earth orbit, national space agencies and private entrepreneurs are investing in exploration of the Solar system. The main health risk for human space exploration is late toxicity caused by exposure to cosmic rays. On Earth, the exposure of radiation workers is regulated by dose limits and mitigated by shielding and...
Article
Immunotherapy and targeted therapy are now commonly used in clinical trials in combination with radiotherapy for several cancers. While results are promising and encouraging, the molecular mechanisms of the interaction between the drugs and radiation remain largely unknown. This is especially important when switching from conventional photon therap...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our understanding of radiation induced cellular damage has greatly improved over the past decades. Despite this progress, there are still many obstacles to fully understanding how radiation interacts with biologically relevant cellular components to form observable endpoints. One hurdle is the difficulty faced by members of different research group...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the pathophysiology of lung fibrosis is of paramount importance to elaborate targeted and effective therapies. As it onsets, the randomly accumulating extracellular matrix (ECM) breaks the symmetry of the branching lung structure. Interestingly, similar pathways have been reported for both idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and radiation-i...
Article
Full-text available
Space agencies have recognized the risks of astronauts’ exposure to space radiation and are developing complex model-based risk mitigation strategies. In the foundation of these models, there are still significant gaps of knowledge concerning nuclear fragmentation reactions which need to be addressed by ground-based experiments. There is a lack of...
Article
Full-text available
The tyrosine kinase inhibitor Cabozantinib has been applied in clinical studies in combination with radiotherapy. We investigated the effect of such combination on triple-negative 4T1 cells as a metastatic breast cancer model in vitro and in vivo upon inoculation in BALB/c mice. In vitro assays indicated a potential for improved effects using the c...
Article
Full-text available
During proton and carbon ions cancer treatment, nuclear interactions of the beam nuclei with the patient tissues always occur: the former leads to target fragmentation only, the latter to both projectile and target fragments production. In proton therapy the low-energy, high-charge and therefore short-range fragments produced along the beam path in...
Article
Purpose To establish a beam monitoring and dosimetry system to enable the FLASH dose-rate carbon ion irradiation and investigate, at different oxygen concentrations, the in vitro biological response in comparison to conventional dose-rate. Methods and Materials CHO-K1 cell response to irradiation at different dose-rates and at different levels of...
Article
Full-text available
Realistic nuclear reaction cross-section models are an essential ingredient of reliable heavy-ion transport codes. Such codes are used for risk evaluation of manned space exploration missions as well as for ion-beam therapy dose calculations and treatment planning. Therefore, in this study, a collection of total nuclear reaction cross-section data...
Article
Purpose: To predict and mitigate for the degradation in physical and biologically-effective dose distributions of particle beams caused by microscopic heterogeneities in lung tissue. Materials and methods: The TRiP98 treatment planning system was adapted to account for the beam-modulating effect of heterogeneous lung tissue in physical and biolo...
Article
Full-text available
The heart tissue is a potential target of various noxae contributing to the onset of cardiovascular diseases. However, underlying pathophysiological mechanisms are largely unknown. Human stem cell-derived models are promising, but a major concern is cell immaturity when estimating risks for adults. In this study, 3D aggregates of human embryonic st...
Article
Full-text available
Clinical routine in proton therapy currently neglects the radiobiological impact of nuclear target fragments generated by proton beams. This is partially due to the difficult characterization of the irradiation field. The detection of low energetic fragments, secondary protons and fragments, is in fact challenging due to their very short range. How...
Article
CMOS pixel sensors, originally developed for High Energy Physics experiments, are also used for space radiation and medical applications as vertex detector. These high spatial resolution sensors can provide accurate particle trajectories, which is necessary in several experiments as cross section measurements. In the present work, the response of t...
Article
Radiotherapy should have low toxicity in the entrance channel (normal tissue) and be very effective in cell killing in the target region (tumour). In this regard, ions heavier than protons have both physical and radiobiological advantages over conventional X-rays. Carbon ions represent an excellent combination of physical and biological advantages....
Article
Carbon therapy is a promising treatment option for cancer. The physical and biological properties of carbon ions can theoretically allow for the delivery of curative doses to the tumor, while simultaneously limiting risks of toxicity to adjacent healthy structures. The treatment effectiveness can be further improved by decreasing the uncertainties...
Article
Full-text available
Several techniques are under development for image-guidance in particle therapy. Positron (β+) emission tomography (PET) is in use since many years, because accelerated ions generate positron-emitting isotopes by nuclear fragmentation in the human body. In heavy ion therapy, a major part of the PET signals is produced by β+-emitters generated via p...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose We investigated the relationship between RBE-weighted dose (D RBE) calculated with constant (cRBE) and variable RBE (vRBE), dose-averaged linear energy transfer (LET d) and the risk of radiographic changes in skull base patients treated with protons. Methods Clinical treatment plans of 45 patients were recalculated with Monte Carlo tool FR...
Article
Full-text available
FLASH radiotherapy is considered a new potential breakthrough in cancer treatment. Ultra‐high dose rates (>40 Gy/s) have been shown to reduce toxicity in the normal tissue without compromising tumor control, resulting in a widened therapeutic window. These high dose rates are more easily achievable in the clinic with charged particles, and clinical...
Article
Full-text available
The FOOT (FragmentatiOn Of Target) experiment is an international project designed to carry out the fragmentation cross-sectional measurements relevant for charged particle therapy (CPT), a technique based on the use of charged particle beams for the treatment of deep-seated tumors. The FOOT detector consists of an electronic setup for the identifi...
Article
Protection from cosmic radiation of crews of long-term space missions is now becoming an urgent requirement to allow a safe colonization of the moon and Mars. Epidemiology provides little help to quantify the risk, because the astronaut group is small and as yet mostly involved in low-Earth orbit mission, whilst the usual cohorts used for radiation...
Article
Full-text available
Background and purpose: Recent observations in animal models show that ultra-high dose rate ("FLASH") radiation treatment significantly reduces normal tissue toxicity maintaining an equivalent tumor control. The dependence of this "FLASH" effect on target oxygenation has led to the assumption that oxygen "depletion" could be its major driving forc...
Article
Full-text available
Exposing cells to DNA damaging agents, such as ionizing radiation (IR) or cytotoxic chemicals, can cause DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), which are crucial to repair to maintain genetic integrity. O-linked β-N-acetylglucosaminylation (O-GlcNAcylation) is a post-translational modification (PTM), which has been reported to be involved in the DNA dama...
Preprint
Full-text available
Realistic nuclear reaction cross-section models are an essential ingredient to reliable heavy-ion transport codes. Such codes are used for risk evaluation of manned space exploration missions as well as for ion-beam therapy dose calculation and treatment planning. Therefore, a total nuclear reaction cross-section data collection has been generated...
Article
Full-text available
An alternative approach that is particularly suitable for the radiation health risk assessment (HRA) of astronauts is presented. The quantity, Radiation Attributed Decrease of Survival (RADS), representing the cumulative decrease in the unknown survival curve at a certain attained age, due to the radiation exposure at an earlier age, forms the basi...
Article
Purpose To investigate thoracic dose-response patterns for pericardial effusion (PCE) and mortality in patients treated for locally advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) by Intensity Modulated RT (IMRT) or Passive-Scattering Proton Therapy (PSPT). Methods Among 178 patients, 43.5% developed grade≥2 PCE. Clinical and dosimetric factors associ...
Article
Heavy ions are riveting in radiation biophysics, particularly in the areas of radiotherapy and space radiation protection. Accelerated charged particles can indeed penetrate deeply in the human body to sterilize tumors, exploiting the favorable depth-dose distribution of ions compared to conventional X rays. Conversely, the high biological effectiv...
Article
Full-text available
Background Quality management and safety are integral to modern radiotherapy. New radiotherapy technologies require new consensus guidelines on quality and safety. Established analysis strategies, such as the failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) and incident learning systems have been developed as tools to assess the safety of several types of...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing interest in using helium ions for radiotherapy, complementary to protons and carbon ions. A large number of patients were treated with 4He ions in the US heavy ion therapy project and novel 4He ion treatment programs are under preparation, for instance in Germany and Japan. 3He ions have been proposed as an alternative to 4He io...
Article
Full-text available
The combination of immune therapy with radiation offers an exciting and promising treatment modality in cancer therapy. It has been hypothesized that radiation induces damage signals within the tumor, making it more detectable for the immune system. In combination with inhibiting immune checkpoints an effective anti-tumor immune response may be est...
Article
Heavy ions are riveting in radiation biophysics, particularly in the areas of radiotherapy and space radiation protection. Accelerated charged particles can indeed penetrate deeply in the human body to sterilize tumors, exploiting the favorable depth-dose distribution of ions compared to conventional X rays. Conversely, the high biological effectiv...
Article
FOOT (FragmentatiOn Of Target) is an applied nuclear physics experiment conceived to conduct high-precision cross section measurements of nuclear fragmentation processes relevant for particle therapy and radiation protection in space. These measurements are important to estimate the physical and biological effects of nuclear fragments, which are pr...
Article
Full-text available
The South East European International Institute for Sustainable Technologies (SEEIIST) was proposed in 2016 at the World Academy of Art and Science, with the objective of building a facility for charged particle cancer therapy for the South Eastern European countries. SEEIIST will offer the world-class research needed to reduce or even revert the b...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent observations in animal models show that ultra-high dose rate ("FLASH") radiation treatment significantly reduces normal tissue toxicity maintaining an equivalent tumor control. The dependence of this "FLASH" effect on tissue oxygenation has led to the assumption that oxygen "depletion" could be its major driving force. In a bottom-up approac...
Article
Full-text available
We present commissioning and validation of F red , a graphical processing unit (GPU)–accelerated Monte Carlo code, for two proton beam therapy facilities of different beam line design: CCB (Krakow, IBA) and EMORY (Atlanta, Varian). We followed clinical acceptance tests required to approve the certified treatment planning system for clinical use. We...
Article
The study that we present is part of the preparation work for the setup of the FOOT (FragmentatiOn Of Target) experiment whose main goal is the measurement of the double differential cross sections of fragments produced in nuclear interactions of particles with energies relevant for particle therapy. The present work is focused on the characterizat...
Article
Full-text available
Immunization with an inactivated virus is one of the strategies currently being tested towards developing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. One of the methods used to inactivate viruses is exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation to damage their nucleic acids. While gamma (γ) rays effectively induce lesions in the RNA, envelope proteins are also highly dam...
Article
Full-text available
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are a rare tumor cell subpopulation induced and selected by the tumor microenvironment’s extreme conditions. Under hypoxia and starvation, these aggressive and invasive cells are able to invade the lymphatic and circulatory systems. Escaping from the primary tumor, CTCs enter into the bloodstream to form metastatic de...
Article
Full-text available
The helium ( 4 He) component of the primary particles in the galactic cosmic ray spectrum makes significant contributions to the total astronaut radiation exposure. 4 He ions are also desirable for direct applications in ion therapy. They contribute smaller projectile fragmentation than carbon ( 12 C) ions and smaller lateral beam spreading than pr...