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The effect of alterations in haematocrit on tumour sensitivity to X-rays.

Abstract

Hypoxic cells in human tumours probably contribute to the failure of radiotherapy in some sites. Changes in the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, such as in anaemia, have been shown to influence tumour response. The effect of acute and chronic changes in haematocrit on the radiosensitivity of three mouse tumours (EMT6, KHT and RIF-1) were studied. Alterations in haematocrit were achieved by bleeding followed by retransfusion. When radiation was preceded immediately by an acute reduction in haematocrit (anaemia), radiosensitivity was markedly reduced in each tumour. An acute rise in haematocrit (polycythaemia) increased or decreased X-ray sensitivity depending on its severity. The optimum haematocrit for maximum sensitivity was always found to be at a level 5-10 per cent above normal. When the time between induction of anaemia and irradiation was increased, simulating a progressively longer duration of anaemia, marked changes in radiosensitivity of all the tumours were observed. A short duration of anaemia resulted in a resistant tumour with each cell line, but the resistance was gradually lost as the anaemia was prolonged, even though no recovery in haematocrit occurred. The rate of recovery to normal radiosensitivity varied from 24 to 72 hours in the different tumours. Therefore, only haematocrit changes which occurred within 1-3 days of a dose of radiation affect the radiosensitivity of these tumours.

PMID:
6334047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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