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Radiat Res. 2001 Feb;155(2):360-8.

Effects of radiation on tumor intravascular oxygenation, vascular configuration, development of hypoxia, and clonogenic survival.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester School of Medicine, New York, USA.


The underlying physiological mechanisms leading to tumor reoxygenation after irradiation have elicited considerable interest, but they remain somewhat unclear. The current study was undertaken to determine the effects of a single dose of 10 Gy gamma radiation on both tumor pathophysiology and radiobiologically hypoxic fraction. Immunohistochemical staining and perfusion markers were used to quantify tumor vasculature, uptake of the hypoxia marker EF5 to assess the distribution of hypoxia, and intravascular HbO(2) measurements to determine oxygen availability. Tumor radiosensitivity was measured by a clonogenic assay. At 24 h postirradiation, oxygen availability increased, perfused vessel numbers decreased, EF5 uptake decreased, and the radiobiologically hypoxic fraction was unchanged. Together, these results demonstrate that tumor hypoxia develops at an increased distance from perfused blood vessels after irradiation, suggesting a decrease in oxygen consumption at 24 h. By 72 h postirradiation, all physiological parameters had returned to the levels in volume-matched, nonirradiated controls. These studies clearly show that single measures of either tumor oxygenation or vascular structure are inadequate for assessing the effects of radiation on tumor clonogenicity. Although such direct measurements have previously proven valuable in predicting tumor response to therapy or oxygen manipulation, a combination of parameters is required to adequately describe the mechanisms underlying these changes after irradiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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