NanoEnHanCeMent (Nanoparticle Enhanced Hadron-therapy: a comprehensive Mechanistic description) is an action aimed to apply basic Physics and Chemistry methods to uncover the microscopic mechanisms behind nanoparticle enhancement of hadron-therapy for cancer treatment (or ion beam cancer therapy). Hadron-therapy (radiotherapy using accelerated ion beams) is one of the most advanced radiotherapies available, with superior dose delivery and biological effectiveness as compared to conventional radiotherapy. The increased effectiveness of hadron-therapy relies on physico-chemical phenomena occurring on the nanoscale. There is experimental evidence pointing out to nanoparticles enhancing the biological effects of ion beams. Since nanoparticles can be tuned to target cancer cells, they might be used to further improve hadron-therapy. However, it is still unknown how nanoparticles produce this effect. A proper exploitation of the nanoparticle radioenhancement in hadron-therapy depends on improving the understanding of the physico-chemical mechanisms responsible for it. In this project, a theory and modelling approach is proposed, in which a series of semiempirical and ab initio methods will be extended and interfaced with Monte Carlo track-structure simulation tools, in order to advance the basic understanding of the nanoparticle enhanced hadron-therapy physical and chemical mechanisms. The action also encompasses an integral training program for the Experienced Researcher, with a deepening in already mastered methods and learning of new methodologies, together with the acquisition of complementary and transferable skills, all this in an environment where theory, experiment and clinical applications meet. A complete communication and outreach program is also envisaged, to disseminate the results to the scientific community and also to show to the citizenship how the investment in basic science and European cooperation pave the way for addressing societal challenges.
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