Advanced radiotherapy techniques such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) achieve high levels of conformity to the target volume through the sequential delivery of highly spatially and temporally modulated radiation fields, which have been shown to impact radiobiological response. This study aimed to characterize the time and cell type dependency of survival responses to modulated fields using single cell type (SCT) and mixed cell type (MCT) co-culture models of transformed fibroblast (AG0-1522b) cells, prostate (DU-145) and lung (H460) cancer cells. In SCT cultures, in-field responses showed no significant time dependency while out-of-field responses occurred early, and plateaued 6 h after irradiation in both DU-145 and H460 cells. Under modulated beam configurations MCT co-cultures showed cell-specific, differential out-of-field responses depending on the irradiated in-field and responding out-of-field cell type. The observed differential out-of-field responses may be due to the genetic background of the cells, in particular p53 status, which has been shown to mediate radiation-induced bystander effects (RIBEs). These data provide further insight into the radiobiological parameters that influence out-of-field responses, which have potential implications for advanced radiotherapy modalities and may provide opportunities for biophysical optimization in radiotherapy treatment planning.

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