A systems biology approach to radiation therapy optimization
2010 (English)In: Radiation and Environmental Biophysics, ISSN 0301-634X, E-ISSN 1432-2099, Vol. 49, no 2, 111-124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
During the last 20 years, the field of cellular and not least molecular radiation biology has been developed substantially and can today describe the response of heterogeneous tumors and organized normal tissues to radiation therapy quite well. An increased understanding of the sub-cellular and molecular response is leading to a more general systems biological approach to radiation therapy and treatment optimization. It is interesting that most of the characteristics of the tissue infrastructure, such as the vascular system and the degree of hypoxia, have to be considered to get an accurate description of tumor and normal tissue responses to ionizing radiation. In the limited space available, only a brief description of some of the most important concepts and processes is possible, starting from the key functional genomics pathways of the cell that are not only responsible for tumor development but also responsible for the response of the cells to radiation therapy. The key mechanisms for cellular damage and damage repair are described. It is further more discussed how these processes can be brought to inactivate the tumor without severely damaging surrounding normal tissues using suitable radiation modalities like intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or light ions. The use of such methods may lead to a truly scientific approach to radiation therapy optimization, particularly when invivo predictive assays of radiation responsiveness becomes clinically available at a larger scale. Brief examples of the efficiency of IMRT are also given showing how sensitive normal tissues can be spared at the same time as highly curative doses are delivered to a tumor that is often radiation resistant and located near organs at risk. This new approach maximizes the probability to eradicate the tumor, while at the same time, adverse reactions in sensitive normal tissues are as far as possible minimized using IMRT with photons and light ions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 49, no 2, 111-124 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68185DOI: 10.1007/s00411-010-0268-2ISI: 000276745900002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-68185DiVA: diva2:472171
authorCount :22012-01-032012-01-032012-01-03Bibliographically approved