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Radiotherapy is a mainstay of cancer therapy for a wide variety of anatomical areas. An unfortunate side effect of treatment can be radiation damage to the skin which can be a painful and debilitating problem. Previous experience from the experimental use of Flamigel® in two large-scale clinical studies on affected skin has proven sufficiently positive for the addition of a new product in the Flamigel® family (now commercially available in the UK as Flamigel RT®, Flen Health UK). The aim of this investigation is to evaluate the use of this new product to study how effective it is in the prevention and/or treatment of radiation-induced skin damage.
Materials and methods:
A survey was conducted among radiotherapy specialist teams in dedicated UK radiotherapy centres between 1 January 2017 and 31 October 2017. This report is of a preliminary evaluation conducted by UK-based specialists on 108 patients undergoing radiotherapy. The scoring system for skin reactions of the ‘Radiation Therapy Oncology Group’ was used.
Results show that the use of Flamigel® has the potential to soothe (p = 0·0001), reduce pain (p = 0·0001) and reduce pruritus (p = 0·004). The product met the expectations of the clinicians involved (p < 0·0001) of whom most were happy to continue use or to recommend its use to colleagues (p < 0·0001).
Flamigel® is an effective treatment in the management of radiation-induced skin reactions. Erythema was unchanged through the study period (p = 0·42). No adverse reactions were reported after the use of Flamigel from twice to six times a day.
To explore the link between nasal polyposis, refractory otitis media with effusion and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.
A retrospective observational study was carried out of patients diagnosed with refractory otitis media with effusion necessitating grommet insertion and who had nasal polyps. Patients were evaluated to determine if they fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.
Sixteen patients (10 males and 6 females) were identified. The mean age of grommet insertion was 45.4 years. The mean number of grommets inserted per patient was 1.6. The mean number of nasal polypectomies was 1.7. All 16 patients had paranasal sinus abnormalities and otitis media with effusion, 14 had asthma, 9 had serological eosinophilia and 7 had extravascular eosinophilia. Nine patients met the diagnostic criteria for eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.
The co-presence of nasal polyps and resistant otitis media with effusion should raise the possibility of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.
Six solar proton events have been observed by ground level cosmic ray detectors so far during solar cycle 21, a little less than one per year. All of these have been much smaller than the giant events observed in solar cycle 19. As with many other aspects of solar activity, the reason for the differences from cycle to cycle remain unknown.
Since 1957, the University of Tasmania has operated cosmic-ray meson telescopes at an underground site near Hobart for the purpose of monitoring the intensity variations in the high energy component of the primary flux near the Earth. Details relating to the site, equipment, and meteorological influences on the observed intensity have been given previously. At a depth equivalent to 36m of water (36 m.w.e.), the equipment responds to an effective primary spectrum having a mean particle energy in the vicinity of 200 GeV and falling off rapidly at low energies, so that about 90% of the primaries have energy exceeding 50 GeV. The corresponding mean energy of response for surface muon telescopes at Hobart is about 25 GeV, while a neutron monitor at Hobart has a mean response at about 7 GeV.
The University of Tasmania balloon-borne large area X-ray telescope was flown from Alice Springs on 20 November 1978. A number of known X-ray sources were observed and a transient increase believed to be a gamma ray burst was detected.
In recent years, cosmic-rays have become part of the study of astrophysics and the search for information as to their origin has assumed considerable importance. The question of the origin of the rays is linked with questions concerning their acceleration and propagation through interstellar space. The main problem facing the cosmic-ray astrophysicist in attempting to elucidate these questions observationally arises from the fact that most particles are electrically charged, causing their paths to be curved by the magnetic fields of the Earth and interplanetary and interstellar space.
The University of Tasmania has been operating muon telescopes since mid-1971 in an underground power station operated by the Hydro-Electric Commission at Poatina in Northern Tasmania. The equipment is located beneath ~ 150 m of rock, corresponding to a total absorption depth of ˜ 365 hg cm-2. The initial pilot experiment was reported (Fenton and Fenton 1972) at the May 1972 meeting of A.S.A., and results from the first two full years of operation were presented to the Hobart meeting of A.S.A. two years later (Fenton and Fenton 1974). We now have complete data for the 5-year period 1972-1976, together with provisional data for 1977.
Although transient decreases in cosmic ray intensity of the type first reported by Forbush (1937) have been observed and studied for more than 40 years using a variety of detectors at many locations, from medium depths underground to those on spacecraft far from Earth, the precise nature of the physical process causing these events is not yet clear (see, for example, McKibben 1981).
At present there are two general theories of the origin of cosmic rays. One is that most, if not all, galactic cosmic rays originate within the Galaxy, probably during supernova explosions. The other is that cosmic rays pervade the universe, originating mainly in the powerful radio galaxies and possibly in quasars, where vast stores of energy are available. The former theory has been discussed in detail by Ginzburg and Syrovatskii, while proponents of the latter theory include Burbidge and Hoyle, and Burbidge.
Most of the recent advances in X-ray astronomy have resulted from satellite observations in the low energy (< 20 keV) range. The Einstein X-ray Observatory in particular has been responsible for a dramatic increase in our knowledge of the X-ray sky, in that all major classes of astronomical objects have been detected.
The barometric coefficient of a cosmic-ray neutron monitor is found to increase with atmospheric depth from ~ 150 mm Hg to 600 mm Hg and then to decrease slowly with depth down to 760 mm Hg (Bachelet et al. 1965; Carmichael and Bercovitch 1969). Bachelet et al. 1965) tentatively attributed this change in the slope of the barometric coefficient versus atmospheric depth curve at 600 mm Hg to the contribution made by muons to the neutron monitor counting rate. Carmichael and Bercovitch (1969) have shown that the contribution to the monitor counting rate made by obliquely incident nucleons may be the real cause. Singh et al. (1970) have derived an expression for the barometric coefficient for vertically incident particles in a neutron monitor which increases continuously with increasing atmospheric depth down to 760 mm Hg, demonstrating more definitely that the above explanation of Carmichael and Bercovitch is correct.
This paper presents results from a series of rocket flights which have yielded the first unambiguous evidence for the variability of a cosmic X-ray source. The evidence rests primarily on three flights, the first two of which were conducted from Woomera by a joint Universities of Adelaide and Tasmania (UAT) team, and the third from Hawaii by the Lawrence Radiation Laboratories (LRL) of California. Data from two additional flights, one by LRL and the other by the University of Leicester, support this evidence.
Solar flares for which protons of relativistic energies reach Earth are rare events compared with the number in which non-relativistic protons are produced. For instance, Shea and Smart (1978) have listed 139 proton events for the interval 1955-69 of which 17 were GLE’s (i.e. “ground level events” detected by the world network of cosmic ray neutron monitors). We have tentatively identified a further 11 GLE’s in the interval 1970-1977, of which 3 were in 1977 in the sunspot cycle which commenced about mid-1976 (cycle 21). Thus the average rate over the past two solar cycles has been a little over one per year.
Evidence has been mounting for some years that cosmic rays have a dwell time in the disk of the Galaxy of 106-107 years. This evidence comes mainly from the study of the chemical composition of the cosmic rays, for if the particles were stored in the Galaxy for a longer time the heavy nuclei would suffer more collisions with interstellar matter and would be broken down into lighter nuclei or protons (see, for example, Shapiro).
It is now firmly established that a small anisotropy of the galactic cosmic rays exists, observable from Earth as a variation of intensity in sidereal time. The problem now is to determine more clearly the characteristics of the anisotropy and, in particular, its detailed spatial structure and how it depends upon the energy and composition of the cosmic rays. This is a very difficult task and, in the final analysis, may not be fully achievable from Earth-based observations. The purpose of the present paper is to describe briefly an installation now operating in Tasmania to provide further information on the spatial structure of the anisotropy.
A broad-band (2-190 keV) Australian X-ray satellite could provide a spectral sensitivity substantially better than HEAO-1 or any presently approved spacecraft. It would be virtually unique by providing simultaneously data over a wide energy range with high sensitivity and energy resolution in the little measured region above 30 keV. These measurements are vital to our understanding of such diverse topics as the cyclotron line production mechanism in binary sources, the structure of the magnetosphere of neutron stars, the origin of the diffuse cosmic X-ray background and the nature of the giant power sources in active galaxies and stellar black holes. Details of the proposed spacecraft and scientific objectives are given.
Primary cosmic rays passing through the solar system carry with them valuable information about solar and astrophysical phenomena in the form of intensity and spectral variations. In order that this information be efficiently extracted from observations of the directional cosmic-ray flux at the surface of the Earth, it is essential to have accurate information available to enable the relating of the observed secondary cosmic-ray directions of motion and intensity to those outside the range of the disturbing terrestrial influences.
The Universities of Adelaide and Tasmania (UAT) have now collaborated in the preparation of four experiments on British Skylark rockets. Two independent X-ray detectors of total sensitive area 40 cm2 were flown on each of two rocket flights launched in April, 1967. The most significant result of these measurements was the discovery of Cen XR-2 and the measurement of the variation in its intensity and spectrum. The third flight, launched in December 1967, carried three X-ray detectors of total area 140 cm2. One of the main results from this flight, evidence for a new X-ray source at high galactic latitude, will be presented in the following paper.