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Semin Radiat Oncol. 2008 Oct;18(4):240-3. doi: 10.1016/j.semradonc.2008.04.005.

The linear-quadratic model is inappropriate to model high dose per fraction effects in radiosurgery.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The linear-quadratic (LQ) model is widely used to model the effect of total dose and dose per fraction in conventionally fractionated radiotherapy. Much of the data used to generate the model are obtained in vitro at doses well below those used in radiosurgery. Clinically, the LQ model often underestimates tumor control observed at radiosurgical doses. The underlying mechanisms implied by the LQ model do not reflect the vascular and stromal damage produced at the high doses per fraction encountered in radiosurgery and ignore the impact of radioresistant subpopulations of cells. The appropriate modeling of both tumor control and normal tissue toxicity in radiosurgery requires the application of emerging understanding of molecular-, cellular-, and tissue-level effects of high-dose/fraction-ionizing radiation and the role of cancer stem cells.

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