Low-Dose Pretreatment for Radiation Therapy

Blankenbecler, Richard
October 2010
Dose-Response;2010, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p534
Academic Journal
In radiotherapy, a large radiation dose must be applied to both cancer and neighboring healthy cells. Recent experiments have shown that a low dose of ionizing radiation turns on certain protective mechanisms that allow a cell to better survive a subsequent high dose of radiation. This adaptive response can have important and positive consequences for radiotherapy. This paper describes a simple change in treatment procedures to make use of these beneficial effects. A low dose applied only to the healthy cells will probably produce some damage. However, it will also start the adaptive response which will yield increased protection when the large therapeutic dose is applied. The resultant immediate damage will be thereby reduced as well as the probability that the high dose therapy itself will induce a subsequent secondary cancer. After a brief historical review, the effects of a low radiation dose on a canine cancer cell line will be discussed as well as trials of the suggested pre-dose therapy on canine cancer patients undergoing standard radiation therapy.


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