Terpsi holds a BSc degree in Physics, specialized in Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particles, from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and an MSc degree in Medical Physics and Radiophysics from National University of Athens in Greece.
During her studies she developed a keen interest in applications of radiation biology. The new technologies, new tools and innovative ideas have inspired her to pursue a career focussing on improving cancer treatment. The NWCR DTP has given her the opportunity to continue her PhD studies in an international leading research environment within the University of Liverpool.
Radiotherapy (x-rays) is one of the three major cancer treatments currently used alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. This involves using ionizing radiation (IR) to induce significant DNA lesions and lead tumorous cells to apoptosis although side effects associated with normal tissue damage are common. Proton beam therapy (PBT) also uses IR however the radiation dose is deposited over a narrow range targeted at the tumour, limiting irradiation of the surrounding normal tissue; moreover PBT can target tumours deeper into the human body. PBT is being increasingly used worldwide nevertheless the radiobiological effects at the cellular and molecular level still remain poorly understood. In her project, Terpsi will study the relative biological effect (RBE) of PBT and to determine differences in response of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and uveal melanoma to x-ray and proton beam irradiation.