Protecting patients through improved radiotherapy protection

Monday, 05 October 2015

Protecting patients through radiotherapy protection

Pioneering research undertaken at Oxford Brookes has helped add a new dimension to radiobiology, highlighting the importance of using lower dose radiation to better protect patient health.

Over many years, the work of Munira Kadhim, Professor in Radiation Biology at Oxford Brookes and colleagues at MRC Harwell has had an extensive impact on health risk assessment and clinical radiotherapy.

Professor Munira Kadhim said: “Since the discovery of x-rays, researchers like me, in the field of radiation biology have, for over a century, developed their understanding of biological effects of ionizing radiation through an intuitive mathematical model known as target theory.

“My research with colleagues has had a major influence in changing the conventional model of a hit-effect relationship for radiation, moving away from a model in which radiation energy must be deposited in the nucleus in order to produce a biological effect, to a new model that incorporates radiation`s non-targeted effects (NTE).”

Professor Kadhim’s work on NTE was cited by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) in 2012 in their White Paper making recommendations to guide their future programme.

My research with colleagues has had a major influence in changing the conventional model of a hit-effect relationship for radiation.

Professor Munira Kadhim, Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University

She was also called upon by the UK Government in 2012, and appointed to the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE). COMARE is responsible for advising Government on the health effects of natural and manmade radiation, as well as drafting advice for the general public. 

Through her work on the COMARE she was involved in the preparation of a key report to the Department of Health (DoH) concerning radiation doses from CT scanners in the UK in 2013. 

Professor Kadhim’s current research is investigating radiation-induced cataract formation, which could have the potential to influence dose limits for the eye. 

Read the full Impact Case Study and others on our dedicated webpages.

This research was recently highlighted in last year’s Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF 2014) as an example of the how the University’s research is making an impact across the world. 

Further information on the University’s Department of Biological and Medical Sciences can be found on their website.