Jenny Nguyen

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Esophageal cancer is the sixth leading cause of death from cancer worldwide. Early-stage esophageal cancer is often asymptomatic and often not diagnosed until relatively late in the disease process. Radiation therapy can be used to treat esophageal cancer. Photon radiation therapy is the most widely used radiation therapy by healthcare professionals. However, photons an exit dose emitted by photons can cause permanent long-term complications to healthy tissue. As the number of cancer patients increases each year, less toxic cancer treatments need to be created. An alternative to photon radiation therapy is a new type of proton therapy called FLASH beam therapy. FLASH beam therapy can cure tumors at the same rate as conventional photon radiation therapy. In addition to this, FLASH beam therapy has no exit dose and cause minimal damage to healthy tissue around the tumor area. However, the mechanism as to why there is minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue is still not understood. This study compared the biological effect of epithelial normal cells and carcinoma cells exposed to radiation. Three different cell lines were radiated at 2Gy/s and stained with DAPI to assess for damage and cell morphology. Results showed that the radiation dose resulted in changes in cell morphology of all the cell samples. Also, some nuclear fragmentation and apoptosis were seen in all the samples. However, only the KYSE-30 samples displayed nucleotide signaling in the cells after radiation. This showed some communication between the nuclei and cytosol and was a response to being exposed to radiation.

Publication Date






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