Radiation therapy, along with surgery and chemotherapy, is one of the main treatments for cancer. While radiotherapy is highly effective in the treatment of localized tumors, its main limitation is its toxicity to normal tissue. Previous preclinical studies have reported that ultra-high dose-rate (FLASH) irradiation results in reduced toxicity to normal tissues while controlling tumor growth to a similar extent relative to conventional-dose-rate (CONV) irradiation. To our knowledge this is the first report of a dose-response study in mice comparing the effect of FLASH irradiation vs. CONV irradiation on skin toxicity. We found that FLASH irradiation results in both a lower incidence and lower severity of skin ulceration than CONV irradiation 8 weeks after single-fraction hemithoracic irradiation at high doses (30 and 40 Gy). Survival was also higher after FLASH hemithoracic irradiation (median survival >180 days at doses of 30 and 40 Gy) compared to CONV irradiation (median survival 100 and 52 days at 30 and 40 Gy, respectively). No ulceration was observed at doses 20 Gy or below in either FLASH or CONV. These results suggest a shifting of the dose-response curve for radiation-induced skin ulceration to the right for FLASH, compared to CONV irradiation, suggesting the potential for an enhanced therapeutic index for radiation therapy of cancer.
FLASH Irradiation Results in Reduced Severe Skin Toxicity Compared to Conventional-Dose-Rate Irradiation
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Luis A. Soto, Kerriann M. Casey, Jinghui Wang, Alexandra Blaney, Rakesh Manjappa, Dylan Breitkreutz, Lawrie Skinner, Suparna Dutt, Ryan B. Ko, Karl Bush, Amy S. Yu, Stavros Melemenidis, Samuel Strober, Edgar Englemann, Peter G. Maxim, Edward E. Graves, Billy W. Loo; FLASH Irradiation Results in Reduced Severe Skin Toxicity Compared to Conventional-Dose-Rate Irradiation. Radiat Res doi: https://doi.org/10.1667/RADE-20-00090
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