Research Mentor Name

Stephen Brown, Ph.D.

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Henry Ford Radiation Oncology

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



External beam radiation therapy, a cornerstone in cancer treatment for 50% of patients, poses challenges due to its toxicity to both cancer and healthy cells. Seeking to mitigate side effects, the emerging FLASH radiation technology employs ultra-high dose rates, promising quicker treatments with reduced impact on surrounding normal tissue. Platinum, recognized as a radiation sensitizer, enhances the effectiveness of radiation therapy by increasing sensitization at higher energy levels through pair-production.

This study explores the hypothesis that Cisplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapy agent, will exhibit a synergistic effect when combined with FLASH radiation. Using A549 cells from non-small cell lung cancer, the research involves four conditions (conventional with and without cisplatin, FLASH with and without cisplatin) across at least five doses. Intriguingly, results show no obvious platinum sensitization with FLASH, contrary to conventional results. The unique conditions of FLASH radiation, where energy is rapidly deposited and potentially less influenced by the environment, prompt further investigation. Confirmatory studies are underway, aiming to understand the pathophysiology of non-sensitization in FLASH and explore the timing and effectiveness of other known sensitizers and radiation protectors. The end goal is to unravel the sensitization dynamics of FLASH radiation, enabling the maximization of therapeutic effects with minimal side effects in cancer patients.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Oncology | Radiation Medicine


Henry Ford Hospital