First Advisor

Priya Jamkhedkar

Date of Award

Spring 6-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors






Cancer -- Radiotherapy -- Research




This paper is a literature review on the possible mechanisms behind the FLASH effect and why such research can advance the world of radiology treatment by modifying current clinical linear accelerators to produce ultra-high doses of radiation. Radiation Therapy, also known as external Beam Radiation Therapy, is a common type of cancer treatment. Globally, cancer is the second-leading cause of death, but has seen an increase in survival rates over the past couple of years. Cancer can develop in almost any part of the body since cancer is defined as uncontrolled cell growth. The FLASH Effect is seen when treating a tumor with ultra-high dose radiation (UHDR). The sparring of healthy tissue perplexed researchers (and still does) as to why this phenomenon occurs. It is hypothesized that oxygen depletion, the role of the immune system, and interactions with the cell's mitochondria are the reasons why healthy tissue is spared via the use of UHDR. Rat studies and as of this paper, two human studies, have been conducted to analyze the FLASH effect. It has been seen that FLASH has consistently spared healthy tissue and has treated tumor cases that have not previously been treatable with standard treatment.


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