For example, in prostate cancer—a tumor in the prostate gland that lies between the bladder and the rectum—late radiation toxicity affects rectal, bladder, and sexual function in 5–10% of patients. A new study by Micheline Giphart-Gassler (Leiden University Medical Center) and colleagues published in the international open-access journal PLoS Medicine now suggests that in the future scientists might be able to tell who is at higher risk for such late toxicity and adjust treatments accordingly.
Scientists don’t know why some patients develop late radiation toxicity, but one theory is that some patients have a genetic predisposition. Giphart-Gassler and colleagues tested this by comparing radiation-induced changes in the gene expression profiles in blood cells from 21 patients who had late radiation toxicity after radiotherapy with the changes seen in cells from patients who did not developed such complications. Irradiation with X-rays induced the expression of numerous genes in the cells, including many known radiation-responsive genes. From those, the researchers derived a gene expression profile (or molecular signature) that was associated with late radiation toxicity. A signature based on the radiation response of 50 individual genes correctly classified 63% of the patient population in terms of whether they had developed late radiation toxicity. A signature based on the radiation response of gene sets containing genes linked by function or cellular localization correctly classified 86% of the patient population.
While these results are not robust enough to apply them in a clinical setting, they support the idea that some patients are genetically predisposed to develop late radiation toxicity and also provide clues about which cellular pathways might be involved. The study suggests that it might one day be possible to predict which patients are at high and at low risk for late-radiation toxicity, respectively, and adjust their treatment accordingly. The results also point to certain molecular pathways involved in response to radiation which might be targets for interventions that protect against the toxic side effects of radiation.
As Adrian Begg (Radboud University Medical Center) states in an accompanying Perspective article, these are intriguing, preliminary results on an important question that has been difficult to answer. Future studies are needed to determine whether expression profiles such as this one can serve as robust predictors of late radiation toxicity.
Citation: Svensson JP, Stalpers LJA, Esveldt–van Lange REE, Franken NAP, Haveman J, et al. (2006) Analysis of gene expression using gene sets discriminates cancer patients with and without late radiation toxicity. PLoS Med 3(10): e422.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2018 | Information Technology