To better understand the relationship of the growth characteristics of tumor tissues and their response to ionizing radiation alone and in combination with local tumor hyperthermia, we compared three different tumor sublines of the Dunning rat prostate carcinoma R3327. This report includes results obtained with the anaplastic AT1 subline (volume doubling time 5.2 days), the moderately differentiated mucin-secreting HI subline (volume doubling time about 9 days) and the well-differentiated, hormone-dependent H subline (volume doubling time about 17 days). The effects of single doses of photons (10 to 40 Gy) with and without local tumor hyperthermia (35 min immersion at 43.5°C) were quantified by growth delay. The time to reach five times the volume at the time of treatment after 30 Gy alone was found to be 56.0, 134.9 and 184.0 days for the R3327-AT1, HI and H tumors, respectively. The R3327-H tumor was more radiosensitive than the AT1 or HI subline. Five of nine R3327-H tumors were controlled locally with a single dose of photons (40 Gy). Local tumor hyperthermia alone induced growth delay in both differentiated tumors, while the anaplastic tumor subline did not respond. Combined treatment modalities with heat applied directly after irradiation revealed isoeffective thermal enhancement ratios for 30 Gy which decreased from 1.59 for the AT1 tumor and 1.42 for the HI tumor to 1.23 in the well-differentiated subline R3327-H.

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