David Joel Carlson PhD
Assistant Professor of Therapeutic Radiology
Biological optimization of treatment planning; Tumor hypoxia and reoxygenation effects; Heavy ion radiotherapy; Functional imaging; DNA damage and repair; Motion management; 4D imaging and treatment strategies; Prostate cancer; Lung cancer
Agency: Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center
Grant Name: Non-invasive imaging of tumor hypoxia in non-small cell lung cancer patients undergoing stereotactic body radiotherapy
Agency: American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant
Grant Name: Modeling relative biological effectiveness and oxygen effects in x-ray, proton, and carbon ion radiotherapy
The overall goal of my research is to develop more accurate radiobiological dose-response models that will advance biologically-guided radiation therapy (BGRT) for cancer patients. I hope to make scientific contributions to improve our basic understanding of the underlying physical and biological mechanisms that govern radiation response. Specifically, in my recent research, I have quantified the effects of the spatial pattern of energy deposition by different types of radiation on the relative biological effectiveness of x-rays, protons, and carbon ions in achieving local tumor control. I have also examined the combined effects of cellular oxygen concentration and spatial energy deposition on DNA damage formation and processing and cell death. I have a broad background in radiation physics and radiation biology. As a doctoral candidate at Purdue University, I conducted research on the mechanisms of intrinsic radiation sensitivity and examined the effects of DNA damage repair, oxygen, and radiation quality (particle LET) on biological endpoints such as double-strand break formation and cell killing. As a physics resident at Stanford University, I obtained a comprehensive understanding of the clinical application of radiation for the treatment of malignant and benign disease. I continued my research in radiobiological modeling to develop more realistic models of tumor hypoxia based on radial oxygen diffusion from tumor vasculature and the impact on radiation response. I am currently focused on (1) developing non-invasive functional imaging tools to quantify the spatial and temporal distributions of tumor hypoxia in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer and (2) implementing methods of biological optimization in heavy ion radiotherapy.