In many thoracic cancers, the radiation dose that can safely be delivered to the target volume is limited by the tolerance dose of the surrounding lung tissue. It has been hypothesized that irradiation of the heart may be an additional risk factor for the development of early radiation-induced lung morbidity. In the current study, the dependence of lung tolerance dose on heart irradiation is determined. Fifty percent of the rat lungs were irradiated either including or excluding the heart. Proton beams were used to allow very accurate and conformal dose delivery. Lung function toxicity was scored using a breathing rate assay. We confirmed that the tolerance dose for early lung function damage depends not only on the lung region that is irradiated but also that concomitant irradiation of the heart severely reduces the tolerance of the lung. This study for the first time shows that the response of an organ to irradiation does not necessarily depend on the dose distribution in that organ alone.
|Number of pages||3|
|Publication status||Published - 1-Aug-2005|
- MOUSE LUNG