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Acta Radiol Oncol. 1986 Jan-Feb;25(1):1-10.

Radiation biology of malignant melanoma.


The survival curves for melanoma cells exposed to single radiation doses in vitro and the specific growth delays for melanoma xenografts irradiated with single doses in vivo were found to differ considerably among individual cell lines and tumours. In fact, the differences could be almost as large as the largest differences observed among cell lines and xenografts from tumours of different histology with very different clinical radiocurability. Moreover, radiobiologic parameters that may have significant influence on tumour response to fractionated irradiation, e.g. growth rate, hypoxic fraction, reoxygenation ability, PLD-repair capacity and contact repair capacity, were found to differ greatly in magnitude among individual melanomas. This review therefore concludes that malignant melanoma is a tumour type that is very heterogeneous in radioresponsiveness, i.e. malignant melanomas should no longer be considered to be radiation resistant in general. The values of the alpha/beta ratio derived from cell survival curves for melanoma cells irradiated in vitro and melanoma xenografts irradiated in vivo were found to cover a wide range relative to those for acutely and late responding normal tissues. Although these alpha/beta ratios are no more than estimates of the effective alpha/beta ratios in a clinical situation, they still indicated that hyperfractionation may be beneficial in the treatment of some melanomas, whereas others may be more efficiently treated by use of conventional fractionation regimes, either based on 2 Gy or higher doses per fraction. Consequently, optimum radiation therapy of malignant melanoma will probably require an individualized treatment strategy. In vitro assays for prediction of radiocurability and choice of treatment strategy for individual melanoma patients seem therefore highly warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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