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Cancer Res. 2011 Jan 1;71(1):106-15. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2732.

Dose-dependent effects of focal fractionated irradiation on secondary malignant neoplasms in Nf1 mutant mice.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158, USA.


Secondary malignant neoplasms (SMN) are increasingly common complications of cancer therapy that have proven difficult to model in mice. Clinical observations suggest that the development of SMN correlates with radiation dose; however, this relationship has not been investigated systematically. We developed a novel procedure for administering fractionated cranial irradiation (CI) and investigated the incidence and spectrum of cancer in control and heterozygous Nf1 mutant mice irradiated to a moderate (15 Gy) or high dose (30 Gy). Heterozygous Nf1 inactivation cooperated with CI to induce solid tumors and myeloid malignancies, with mice developing many of the most common SMNs found in human patients. CI-induced malignancies segregated according to radiation dose as Nf1(+/-) mice developed predominately hematologic abnormalities after 15 Gy, whereas solid tumors predominated at 30 Gy, suggesting that radiation dose thresholds exist for hematologic and nonhematologic cancers. Genetic and biochemical studies revealed discrete patterns of somatic Nf1 and Trp53 inactivation and we observed hyperactive Ras signaling in many radiation-induced solid tumors. This technique for administering focal fractionated irradiation will facilitate mechanistic and translational studies of SMNs.

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