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1.  Nonlinear Dose-Response Relationship in the Immune System Following Exposure to Ionizing Radiation: Mechanisms and Implications 
The health effects of low-dose radiation (LDR) have been the concern of the academic spheres, regulatory bodies, governments, and the public. Among these effects, the most important is carcinogenesis. In view of the importance of immune surveillance in cancer control, the dose-response relationship of the changes in different cell types of the immune system after whole-body irradiation is analyzed on the basis of systemic data from the author’s laboratory in combination with recent reports in the literature. For T lymphocytes J- or inverted J-shaped curves are usually demonstrated after irradiation, while for macrophages dose-response curves of chiefly stimulation with irregular patterns are often observed. The intercellular reactions between the antigen presenting cell (APC) and T lymphocyte (TLC) in the immunologic synapse via expression of surface molecules and secretion of cytokines by the two cell types after different doses of radiation are illustrated. The different pathways of signal transduction thus facilitated in the T lymphocyte by different doses of radiation are analyzed to explain the mechanism of the phenomenon of low-dose stimulation and high-dose suppression of immunity. Experimental and clinical data are cited to show that LDR retards tumor growth, reduces metastasis, increases the efficacy of conventional radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well as alleviates the suppression of immunity due to tumor burden. The incidence of thymic lymphoma after high-dose radiation is lowered by preexposure to low-dose radiation, and its mechanism is supposed to be related to the stimulation of anticancer immunity induced by low-dose radiation. Recent reports on lowering of standardized cancer mortality rate and all cause death rate of cohorts occupationally exposed to low-dose radiation from the US, UK, and Canada are cited.
PMCID: PMC2651616  PMID: 19330113
dose-response curves; immune surveillance; molecular and cellular mechanisms; cancer risk
2.  Augmentation of natural cytotoxicity by chronic low-dose ionizing radiation in murine natural killer cells primed by IL-2 
Journal of Radiation Research  2012;53(6):823-829.
The possible beneficial effects of chronic low-dose irradiation (LDR) and its mechanism of action in a variety of pathophysiological processes such as cancer are a subject of intense investigation. While animal studies involving long-term exposure to LDR have yielded encouraging results, the influence of LDR at the cellular level has been less well defined. We reasoned that since natural killer (NK) cells constitute an early responder to exogenous stress, NK cells may reveal sentinel alterations in function upon exposure to LDR. When purified NK cells received LDR at 4.2 mGy/h for a total of 0.2 Gy in vitro, no significant difference in cell viability was observed. Likewise, no functional changes were detected in LDR-exposed NK cells, demonstrating that LDR alone was insufficient to generate changes at the cellular level. Nonetheless, significant augmentation of cytotoxic, but not proliferative, function was detected when NK cells were stimulated with low-dose IL-2 prior to irradiation. This enhancement of NK cytotoxicity was not due to alterations in NK-activating receptors, NK1.1, NKG2D, CD69 and 2B4, or changes in the rate of early or late apoptosis. Therefore, LDR, in the presence of suboptimal cytokine levels, can facilitate anti-tumor cytotoxicity of NK cells without influencing cellular proliferation or apoptosis. Whether these results translate to in vivo consequences remains to be seen; however, our data provide initial evidence that exposure to LDR can lead to subtle immune-enhancing effects on NK cells and may explain, in part, the functional basis underlying, diverse beneficial effects seen in the animals chronically exposed to LDR.
PMCID: PMC3483842  PMID: 22915781
Low-dose radiation; natural killer cells; natural cytotoxicity; innate immunity
3.  Multiple Low-Dose Radiation Prevents Type 2 Diabetes-Induced Renal Damage through Attenuation of Dyslipidemia and Insulin Resistance and Subsequent Renal Inflammation and Oxidative Stress 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92574.
Dyslipidemia and lipotoxicity-induced insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress are the key pathogeneses of renal damage in type 2 diabetes. Increasing evidence shows that whole-body low dose radiation (LDR) plays a critical role in attenuating insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress.
The aims of the present study were to investigate whether LDR can prevent type 2 diabetes-induced renal damage and the underlying mechanisms.
Mice were fed with a high-fat diet (HFD, 40% of calories from fat) for 12 weeks to induce obesity followed by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (STZ, 50 mg/kg) to develop a type 2 diabetic mouse model. The mice were exposed to LDR at different doses (25, 50 and 75 mGy) for 4 or 8 weeks along with HFD treatment. At each time-point, the kidney weight, renal function, blood glucose level and insulin resistance were examined. The pathological changes, renal lipid profiles, inflammation, oxidative stress and fibrosis were also measured.
HFD/STZ-induced type 2 diabetic mice exhibited severe pathological changes in the kidney and renal dysfunction. Exposure of the mice to LDR for 4 weeks, especially at 50 and 75 mGy, significantly improved lipid profiles, insulin sensitivity and protein kinase B activation, meanwhile, attenuated inflammation and oxidative stress in the diabetic kidney. The LDR-induced anti-oxidative effect was associated with up-regulation of renal nuclear factor E2-related factor-2 (Nrf-2) expression and function. However, the above beneficial effects were weakened once LDR treatment was extended to 8 weeks.
These results suggest that LDR exposure significantly prevented type 2 diabetes-induced kidney injury characterized by renal dysfunction and pathological changes. The protective mechanisms of LDR are complicated but may be mainly attributed to the attenuation of dyslipidemia and the subsequent lipotoxicity-induced insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC3961432  PMID: 24651118
4.  Role of CD28/B7 costimulation and IL-12/IL-10 interaction in the radiation-induced immune changes 
BMC Immunology  2001;2:8.
The present paper aims at studying the role of B7/CD28 interaction and related cytokine production in the immunological changes after exposure to different doses of ionizing radiation.
The stimulatory effect of low dose radiation (LDR) on the proliferative response of lymphocytes to Con A was found to require the presence of APCs. The addition of APCs obtained from both low- and high-dose-irradiated mice to splenic lymphocytes separated from low-dose-irradiated mice caused stimulation of lymphocyte proliferation. B7-1/2 expression on APCs was up-regulated after both low and high doses of radiation. There was up-regulation of CD28 expression on splenic and thymic lymphocytes after LDR and its suppression after high dose radiation (HDR), and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) expression showed changes in the opposite direction. IL-12 secretion by macrophages was stimulated after both low and high doses of radiation, but IL-10 synthesis by splenocytes was suppressed by low dose radiation and up-regulated by high dose radiation.
The status of CD28/CTLA-4 expression on T lymphocytes in the presence of up-regulated B7 expression on APCs determined the outcome of the immune changes in response to radiation, i.e., up-regulation of CD28 after LDR resulted in immunoenhancement, and up-regulation of CTLA-4 associated with down-regulation of CD28 after HDR led to immunosuppression. Both low and high doses of radiation up-regulated B7-1/2 expression on APCs. After LDR, the stimulated proliferative effect of increased IL-12 secretion by APCs, reinforced by the suppressed secretion of IL-10, further strengthened the intracellular signaling induced by B7-CD28 interaction.
PMCID: PMC48143  PMID: 11532194
5.  Brachytherapy for cervix cancer: low-dose rate or high-dose rate brachytherapy – a meta-analysis of clinical trials 
The literature supporting high-dose rate brachytherapy (HDR) in the treatment of cervical carcinoma derives primarily from retrospective series. However, controversy still persists regarding the efficacy and safety of HDR brachytherapy compared to low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy, in particular, due to inadequate tumor coverage for stage III patients. Whether LDR or HDR brachytherapy produces better results for these patients in terms of survival rate, local control rate and the treatment complications remain controversial.
A meta-analysis of RCT was performed comparing LDR to HDR brachytherapy for cervix cancer treated for radiotherapy alone. The MEDLINE, EMBASE, CANCERLIT and Cochrane Library databases, as well as abstracts published in the annual proceedings were systematically searched. We assessed methodological quality for each outcome by grading the quality of evidence using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology. We used "recommend" for strong recommendations, and "suggest" for weak recommendations.
Pooled results from five randomized trials (2,065 patients) of HDR brachytherapy in cervix cancer showed no significant increase of mortality (p = 0.52), local recurrence (p = 0.68), or late complications (rectal; p = 0.7, bladder; p = 0.95 or small intestine; p = 0.06) rates as compared to LDR brachytherapy. In the subgroup analysis no difference was observed for overall mortality and local recurrence in patients with clinical stages I, II and III. The quality of evidence was low for mortality and local recurrence in patients with clinical stage I, and moderate for other clinical stages.
Our meta-analysis shows that there are no differences between HDR and LDR for overall survival, local recurrence and late complications for clinical stages I, II and III. By means of the GRADE system, we recommend the use of HDR for all clinical stages of cervix cancer.
PMCID: PMC2673206  PMID: 19344527
6.  Differential cellular responses to prolonged low dose rate ionizing radiation in MLH1-proficient and -deficient colorectal cancer HCT116 cells 
MLH1 is a key DNA mismatch repair (MMR) protein involved in maintaining genomic stability by participating in the repair of endogenous and exogenous mispairs in the daughter strands during S-phase. Exogenous mispairs can result following treatment with several classes of chemotherapeutic drugs as well as with ionizing radiation (IR). In this study, we investigated the role of the MLH1 protein in determining the cellular and molecular responses to prolonged low dose rate (LDR) IR, which is similar to the clinical use of cancer brachytherapy.
Experimental design
An isogenic pair of MMR+ (MLH1+) and MMR− (MLH1−) human colorectal cancer HCT116 cells were exposed to prolonged LDR-IR (1.3–17cGy/h × 24–96 h). The clonogenic survival and gene mutation rates were examined. Cell cycle distribution was analyzed with flow cytometry. Changes in selected DNA damage repair proteins, DNA damage response proteins and cell death marker proteins were examined with Western blotting.
MLH1+ HCT116 cells showed greater radiosensitivity with enhanced expression of apoptotic and autophagic markers; a reduced HPRT gene mutation rate; and more pronounced cell cycle alterations (increased late S population and a G2/M arrest) following LDR-IR compared to MLH1− HCT116 cells. Importantly, a progressive increase in MLH1 protein levels was found in MLH1+ cells during prolonged LDR-IR, which was temporally correlated with a progressive decrease in Rad51 protein (involved in homologous recombination, HR) levels.
MLH1 status significantly affects cellular responses to prolonged LDR-IR. MLH1 may enhance cell radiosensitivity to prolonged LDR-IR through inhibition of HR (via inhibition of Rad51).
PMCID: PMC2783277  PMID: 19861440
mismatch repair; low dose rate IR; MLH1; Rad51; late S phase
7.  Low-Dose-Rate Definitive Brachytherapy for High-Grade Vaginal Intraepithelial Neoplasia 
The Oncologist  2011;16(2):182-188.
The efficacy and safety results of treatment with low-dose-rate vaginal brachytherapy for grade 3 vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia over a 25-year period at Gustave Roussy Institute are presented. This treatment was found to be both safe and effective.
Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Utilize data supporting the efficacy of low-dose definitive brachytherapy to inform clinical decisions about treating women with high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.Implement methods for delivering low-dose definitive brachytherapy that minimize toxicity.Communicate to patients the type and incidence of toxic events associated with low-dose definitive brachytherapy.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at
Treatment of high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) is controversial and could include surgical excision, topical medication, brachytherapy, or other treatments. We report the results of low-dose-rate (LDR) vaginal brachytherapy for grade 3 VAIN (VAIN-3) over a 25-year period at Gustave Roussy Institute.
Patients and Methods.
We retrospectively reviewed the files of all patients treated at Gustave Roussy Institute for VAIN-3 since 1985. The treatment consisted of LDR brachytherapy using a personalized vaginal mold and delivered 60 Gy to 5 mm below the vaginal mucosa. All patients had at least an annual gynecological examination, including a vaginal smear.
Twenty-eight patients were eligible. The median follow-up was 41 months. Seven patients had a follow-up <2 years, and the median follow-up for the remaining 21 patients was 79 months. The median age at brachytherapy was 63 years (range, 38–80 years). Twenty-six patients had a history of VAIN recurring after cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and 24 had a previous hysterectomy. The median brachytherapy duration was 4.5 days. Median doses to the International Commission of Radiation Units and Measurements rectum and bladder points were 68 Gy and 45 Gy, respectively. The median prescription volume (60 Gy) was 74 cm3. Only one “in field” recurrence occurred, corresponding to a 5- and 10-year local control rate of 93% (95% confidence interval, 70%–99%). The treatment was well tolerated, with no grade 3 or 4 late toxicity and only one grade 2 digestive toxicity. No second cancers were reported.
LDR brachytherapy is an effective and safe treatment for vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.
PMCID: PMC3228085  PMID: 21262875
Vaginal neoplasms; Carcinoma in situ; Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; Brachytherapy
8.  Shifting the Paradigm in Radiation Safety 
Dose-Response  2012;10(4):562-583.
The current radiation safety paradigm using the linear no-threshold (LNT) model is based on the premise that even the smallest amount of radiation may cause mutations increasing the risk of cancer. Autopsy studies have shown that the presence of cancer cells is not a decisive factor in the occurrence of clinical cancer. On the other hand, suppression of immune system more than doubles the cancer risk in organ transplant patients, indicating its key role in keeping occult cancers in check. Low dose radiation (LDR) elevates immune response, and so it may reduce rather than increase the risk of cancer. LNT model pays exclusive attention to DNA damage, which is not a decisive factor, and completely ignores immune system response, which is an important factor, and so is not scientifically justifiable. By not recognizing the importance of the immune system in cancer, and not exploring exercise intervention, the current paradigm may have missed an opportunity to reduce cancer deaths among atomic bomb survivors. Increased antioxidants from LDR may reduce aging-related non-cancer diseases since oxidative damage is implicated in these. A paradigm shift is warranted to reduce further casualties, reduce fear of LDR, and enable investigation of potential beneficial applications of LDR.
PMCID: PMC3526328  PMID: 23304105
Radiation safety; Low dose radiation; LNT model; Immune system; Antioxidant stimulation; Aging-related diseases
9.  Different responses of tumor and normal cells to low-dose radiation 
Contemporary Oncology  2013;17(4):356-362.
Aim of the study
We demonstrated stimulation of both erythrocyte immune function and superoxide dismutase activity in tumor-bearing mice in response to whole-body 75 mGy X-rays. In addition, we enhanced the chemotherapeutic effect by exposing tumor-bearing mice to low-dose radiation (LDR). This study aims to investigate the different responses of tumor cells and normal cells to LDR.
Material and methods
Survival fraction, micronucleus frequency, and cell cycle of Lewis cells and primary human fibroblast AG01522 cells were measured. S180 sarcoma cells were implanted in mice, and tumor sizes were measured in vivo.
In response to LDR exposure in vitro, a stimulating effect was observed in AG01522 cells but not in Lewis cells. Low-dose radiation did not cause an adaptive response in the Lewis cell cycle. Lack of an LDR-induced radioadaptive response in tumor cells was observed in tumor-bearing mouse models. Furthermore, a higher apoptotic effect and lower expression of the anti-apoptosis gene Bcl-2 were found in tumor cells of tumor-bearing mice exposed to D1 + D2 than those in tumor cells of tumor-bearing mice exposed to D2 alone.
Different responses of tumor cells and normal cells to LDR were found. Low-dose radiation was found to stimulate the growth of normal cells but not of tumor cells in vitro and in vivo, which is a very important and clinically relevant phenomenon.
PMCID: PMC3934051  PMID: 24592123
low dose radiation; adaptive response; clonogenic survival; cell cycle; tumor cells
10.  Low-dose-rate or high-dose-rate brachytherapy in treatment of prostate cancer – between options 
Permanent low-dose-rate (LDR-BT) and temporary high-dose-rate (HDR-BT) brachytherapy are competitive techniques for clinically localized prostate radiotherapy. Although a randomized trial will likely never to be conducted comparing these two forms of brachytherapy, a comparative analysis proves useful in understanding some of their intrinsic differences, several of which could be exploited to improve outcomes. The aim of this paper is to look for possible similarities and differences between both brachytherapy modalities. Indications and contraindications for monotherapy and for brachytherapy as a boost to external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) are presented. It is suggested that each of these techniques has attributes that advocates for one or the other. First, they represent the extreme ends of the spectrum with respect to dose rate and fractionation, and therefore have inherently different radiobiological properties. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy has the great advantage of being practically a one-time procedure, and enjoys a long-term follow-up database supporting its excellent outcomes and low morbidity. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy has been a gold standard for prostate brachytherapy in low risk patients since many years. On the other hand, HDR is a fairly invasive procedure requiring several sessions associated with a brief hospital stay. Although lacking in significant long-term data, it possesses the technical advantage of control over its postimplant dosimetry (by modulating the source dwell time and position), which is absent in LDR brachytherapy. This important difference in dosimetric control allows HDR doses to be escalated safely, a flexibility that does not exist for LDR brachytherapy.
Radiobiological models support the current clinical evidence for equivalent outcomes in localized prostate cancer with either LDR or HDR brachytherapy, using current dose regimens. At present, all available clinical data regarding these two techniques suggests that they are equally effective, stage for stage, in providing high tumor control rates.
PMCID: PMC3635047  PMID: 23634153
brachytherapy; HDR; LDR; prostate cancer; seeds
11.  The Onset Time of Tumor Repopulation for Cervical Cancer – First Evidence from Clinical Data 
Accelerated tumor repopulation has significant implications in low-dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy. Repopulation onset time remains undetermined for cervical cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine the onset time of accelerated repopulation in cervical cancer using clinical data.
Methods and Materials
The linear-quadratic (LQ) model extended for tumor repopulation was used to analyze the clinical data and MRI-based 3D tumor volumetric regression data of 80 cervical cancer patients who received external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy. The LDR dose was converted to EBRT dose in 1.8 Gy fractions using the LQ formula, and the total dose ranged from 61.4 to 99.7 Gy. The patients were divided into 11 groups according to total dose and treatment time. The tumor control probability (TCP) was calculated for each group. The least χ2 method was used to fit the TCP data with two free parameters: onset time (Tk) of accelerated repopulation and the number of clonogens (K) while other LQ model parameters were adopted from the literature, due to the limited patient data.
Among the 11 patient groups, TCP varied from 33% to 100% as a function of radiation dose and overall treatment time. Higher dose and shorter treatment duration were associated higher TCP. Using the LQ model, the best fit was achieved with the onset time Tk=19 days, K=139, with uncertainty ranges of (11, 22) days for Tk, and (48, 1822) for K, respectively.
This is the first report of accelerated repopulation onset time in cervical cancer, derived directly from the clinical data using the LQ model. Our study verifies that accelerated repopulation does exist in cervical cancer and has a relatively short onset time. Dose escalation may be required to compensate for the effects of tumor repopulation if the radiation therapy course is protracted.
PMCID: PMC3369115  PMID: 22386374
Cervical cancer; Radiation therapy; Tumor control probability; Tumor repopulation onset time; Linear-quadratic model
12.  Disease control using low-dose-rate brachytherapy is unaffected by comorbid severity in oral cancer patients 
The British Journal of Radiology  2011;84(1006):930-938.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome and complications of low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-BT) for oral cancer according to comorbidity.
The records of a total of 180 patients who received LDR-BT for T1-2N0M0 oral cancers between January 2005 and December 2007 were analysed. The comorbidities of the patients were retrospectively graded according to the Adult Comorbidity Evaluation-27, and the relationships between the comorbidity grades and survival, disease control and the incidence of complications were analysed.
The 2 year overall survival rates of patients with no comorbidity, Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 comorbidity were 87%, 85%, 76% and 65%, respectively, and the reduction in the survival rate according to comorbid severity was significant in a univariate analysis (p = 0.032) but not in a multivariate analysis including other clinical factors. Cause-specific survival, locoregional control and local control were not related to the comorbidity grade, or any other clinical factors. Grade 2 or 3 complications developed in 27% of the patients. The incidence of complications was unrelated to the comorbidity grade.
The disease control of oral cancer and the incidence of complications after LDR-BT were not related to comorbid severity. LDR-BT is a useful and safe treatment for patients regardless of the presence of severe comorbidity.
PMCID: PMC3473764  PMID: 21224307
13.  The role of nitric oxide radicals in removal of hyper-radiosensitivity by priming irradiation 
Journal of Radiation Research  2013;54(6):1015-1028.
In this study, a mechanism in which low-dose hyper-radiosensitivity (HRS) is permanently removed, induced by low-dose-rate (LDR) (0.2–0.3 Gy/h for 1 h) but not by high-dose-rate priming (0.3 Gy at 40 Gy/h) was investigated. One HRS-negative cell line (NHIK 3025) and two HRS-positive cell lines (T-47D, T98G) were used. The effects of different pretreatments on HRS were investigated using the colony assay. Cell-based ELISA was used to measure nitric oxide synthase (NOS) levels, and microarray analysis to compare gene expression in primed and unprimed cells. The data show how permanent removal of HRS, previously found to be induced by LDR priming irradiation, can also be induced by addition of nitric oxide (NO)-donor DEANO combined with either high-dose-rate priming or exposure to prolonged cycling hypoxia followed by reoxygenation, a treatment not involving radiation. The removal of HRS appears not to involve DNA damage induced during priming irradiation as it was also induced by LDR irradiation of cell-conditioned medium without cells present. The permanent removal of HRS in LDR-primed cells was reversed by treatment with inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor 1400W. Furthermore, 1400W could also induce HRS in an HRS-negative cell line. The data suggest that LDR irradiation for 1 h, but not 15 min, activates iNOS, and also that sustained iNOS activation is necessary for the permanent removal of HRS by LDR priming. The data indicate that nitric oxide production is involved in the regulatory processes determining cellular responses to low-dose-rate irradiation.
PMCID: PMC3823782  PMID: 23685670
nitric oxide; inducible nitric oxide synthase; hyper-radiosensitivity; low dose-rate
14.  The effects of proton radiation on the prothrombin and partial thromboplastin times of irradiated ferrets 
To determine whether proton radiation affects coagulation.
Material and methods
Ferrets were exposed to solar particle event-like proton radiation at doses of 0, 25, 100, or 200 centigray (cGy), and dose rates of 50 cGy/minute (high dose rate or HDR) or 50 cGy/hour (low dose rate or LDR). Plasma was isolated from blood collected prior to radiation exposure and at 3–7 h post-radiation. Prothrombin time (PT) assays and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) assays were performed as were mixing studies to determine the coagulation factors involved.
HDR and LDR exposure led to statistically significant increases in PT values. It was determined that the HDR-induced increase in PT was due to Factor VII, while Factors II, V, and VII contributed to the LDR-induced increase in PT values. Only acute LDR exposure caused an increase in aPTT values, which remained elevated for 48 h post-irradiation (which was the latest time assayed in these studies). Mixing studies revealed that Factor IX contributed to the increased aPTT values. A majority of the animals exposed at the LDR had an International Normalized Ratio approaching or surpassing 2.0.
PT/aPTT assays resulted in increased clotting times due to different coagulation factors, indicating potential radiation-induced coagulopathy.
PMCID: PMC3589974  PMID: 22221163
Radiation; haematology – radiation; low dose rate
15.  Modification in the Expression of Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 Complex in Low Dose Irradiated Human Lymphocytes 
Dose-Response  2009;7(3):193-207.
Despite the fact that high doses of radiation are detrimental, low dose radiation (LDR) often protects the organism against a subsequent exposure of lethal doses of radiation. Present study was undertaken to understand the role of Mre11, Rad50 and Nbs1 genes in the low dose radio-adapted human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Optimum time interval between low dose (0.07 Gy) and high dose (5.0 Gy) of 60Co-γ-radiation was observed to be 5.0 hours, at which PBMCs showed maximum LDR induced resistance (RIR). At cytogenetic level, micronuclei frequency was found to be reduced in LDR pre-irradiated PBMCs subsequently exposed to high dose radiation (HDR) as compared to controls. At transcriptional level, with reference to sham-irradiated cells significantly (p≤0.05) altered expression of Mre11, Rad50 and Nbs1 genes was observed in low dose irradiated cells. At protein level, Mre11, Rad50 and Nbs1 were enhanced significantly (p≤0.05) in low dose pre-irradiated cells subsequently exposed to high dose of radiation as compared to only high dose irradiated cells. Transcriptional as well as translational modulation in the expression of MRN complex components upon low dose irradiation may confer its participation in repair pathways, resulting in induced resistance.
PMCID: PMC2754534  PMID: 19809539
ionizing radiation; radioadaptive response; micronuclei; MRN complex; gene expression; immuno-blotting
16.  Pulmonary Metastases After Low-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer 
Korean Journal of Urology  2014;55(5):309-314.
To analyze unusual events and focus discussion on pulmonary metastasis in particular after low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-BT) for prostate cancer (PCa).
Materials and Methods
A total of 616 consecutive patients who had undergone LDR-BT for clinically localized PCa at Jikei University Hospital between October 2003 and April 2010 were enrolled in this study. Follow-up information was summarized, and patterns of biochemical recurrence and clinical outcome were investigated.
Disease risk was stratified as low-risk in 231 patients, intermediate-risk in 365, and high-risk in 20, respectively. Of these patients, 269 (43.7%) had received hormonal therapy (HT) in combination with LDR-BT, and 80 (13.0%) had received external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). Average dosimetric parameter values with and without EBRT were 95.3% and 94.2% for V100, 132.8 Gy and 164.2 Gy for D90, and 180.6 Gy2 and 173.7 Gy2 for the biologically effective dose. Biochemical recurrence was noted in 14 patients (6.1%) in the low-risk group, 25 patients (6.8%) in the intermediate-risk group, and 6 patients (30.0%) in the high-risk group, respectively. In these cases of biochemical recurrence, 9 (64.3%), 13 (52.0%), and 4 patients (66.7%) in each respective risk group showed signs of clinical recurrence. Five patients (19.2%) with clinical recurrence developed pulmonary metastases, of which 4 were isolated lesions. All tumors responded favorably to subsequent HT.
LDR-BT for biologically aggressive PCa may be linked to possible pulmonary metastasis owing to tumor dissemination during seed implantation. This information is important in planning adequate treatment for these patients.
PMCID: PMC4026656  PMID: 24868334
Brachytherapy; Neoplasm metastasis; Prostate neoplasms
17.  Differential expression of thymic DNA repair genes in low-dose-rate irradiated AKR/J mice 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2013;14(3):271-279.
We previously determined that AKR/J mice housed in a low-dose-rate (LDR) (137Cs, 0.7 mGy/h, 2.1 Gy) γ-irradiation facility developed less spontaneous thymic lymphoma and survived longer than those receiving sham or high-dose-rate (HDR) (137Cs, 0.8 Gy/min, 4.5 Gy) radiation. Interestingly, histopathological analysis showed a mild lymphomagenesis in the thymus of LDR-irradiated mice. Therefore, in this study, we investigated whether LDR irradiation could trigger the expression of thymic genes involved in the DNA repair process of AKR/J mice. The enrichment analysis of Gene Ontology terms and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways showed immune response, nucleosome organization, and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors signaling pathway in LDR-irradiated mice. Our microarray analysis and quantitative polymerase chain reaction data demonstrated that mRNA levels of Lig4 and RRM2 were specifically elevated in AKR/J mice at 130 days after the start of LDR irradiation. Furthermore, transcriptional levels of H2AX and ATM, proteins known to recruit DNA repair factors, were also shown to be upregulated. These data suggest that LDR irradiation could trigger specific induction of DNA repair-associated genes in an attempt to repair damaged DNA during tumor progression, which in turn contributed to the decreased incidence of lymphoma and increased survival. Overall, we identified specific DNA repair genes in LDR-irradiated AKR/J mice.
PMCID: PMC3788152  PMID: 23820165
AKR/J mice; DNA repair genes; low-dose-rate radiation; thymic lymphoma
18.  High Dose Rate versus Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy for Oral Cancer – A Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65423.
To compare the efficacy and safety of high dose rate (HDR) and low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy in treating early-stage oral cancer.
Data Sources
A systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases, restricted to English language up to June 1, 2012, was performed to identify potentially relevant studies.
Study Selection
Only randomized controlled trials (RCT) and controlled trials that compared HDR to LDR brachytherapy in treatment of early-stage oral cancer (stages I, II and III) were of interest.
Data Extraction and Synthesis
Two investigators independently extracted data from retrieved studies and controversies were solved by discussion. Meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.1. One RCT and five controlled trials (607 patients: 447 for LDR and 160 for HDR) met the inclusion criteria. The odds ratio showed no statistically significant difference between LDR group and HDR group in terms of local recurrence (OR = 1.12, CI 95% 0.62–2.01), overall mortality (OR = 1.01, CI 95% 0.61–1.66) and Grade 3/4 complications (OR = 0.86, CI 95% 0.52–1.42).
This meta-analysis indicated that HDR brachytherapy was a comparable alternative to LDR brachytherapy in treatment of oral cancer. HDR brachytherapy might become a routine choice for early-stage oral cancer in the future.
PMCID: PMC3677879  PMID: 23762369
19.  Low Dose Radiation Adaptive Protection to Control Neurodegenerative Diseases 
Dose-Response  2013;12(2):277-287.
Concerns have been expressed recently regarding the observed increased DNA damage from activities such as thinking and exercise. Such concerns have arisen from an incomplete accounting of the full effects of the increased oxidative damage. When the effects of the induced adaptive protective responses such as increased antioxidants and DNA repair enzymes are taken into consideration, there would be less endogenous DNA damage during the subsequent period of enhanced defenses, resulting in improved health from the thinking and exercise activities. Low dose radiation (LDR), which causes oxidative stress and increased DNA damage, upregulates adaptive protection systems that may decrease diseases in an analogous manner. Though there are ongoing debates regarding LDR’s carcinogenicity, with two recent advisory committee reports coming to opposite conclusions, data published since the time of the reports have overwhelmingly ruled out its carcinogenicity, paving the way for consideration of its potential use for disease reduction. LDR adaptive protection is a promising approach to control neurodegenerative diseases, for which there are no methods of prevention or cure. Preparation of a compelling ethics case would pave the way for LDR clinical studies and progress in dealing with neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC4036399  PMID: 24910585
DNA damage; Adaptive Protection; Low dose radiation; Neurodegenerative diseases
20.  Comparison of acute proton, photon, and low-dose priming effects on genes associated with extracellular matrix and adhesion molecules in the lungs 
Crew members on space missions inevitably are exposed to low background radiation and can receive much higher doses during solar particle events (SPE) that consist primarily of protons. Ionizing radiation could cause lung pathologies. Cell adhesion molecules (CAM) are believed to participate in fibrogenesis. Interactions between CAM and extracellular matrix (ECM) affect epithelial repair mechanisms in the lung. However, there are very limited data on biological effects of protons on normal lung tissue. Numerous reports have shown that exposure to low-dose/low-dose-rate (LDR) radiation can result in radioadaptation that renders cells more resistant to subsequent acute radiation. The goal of this study was to compare expression of genes associated with ECM and CAM, as well as critical profibrotic mediators, in mouse lungs after acute irradiation with photons and protons, and also determine whether pre-exposure to LDR γ-rays induces an adaptive effect.
Overall, a marked difference was present in the proton vs. photon groups in gene expression. When compared to 0 Gy, more genes were affected by protons than by photons at both time points (11 vs. 6 on day 21 and 14 vs. 8 on day 56), and all genes affected by protons were upregulated. Many genes were modulated by LDR γ-rays when combined with photons or protons. Col1a1, mmp14, and mmp15 were significantly upregulated by all radiation regimens on day 21. Similarly, the change in expression of profibrotic proteins was also detected after acute and combination irradiation.
These data show that marked differences were present between acutely delivered protons and photons in modulating genes, and the effect of protons was more profound than that of photons. Pre-exposure to LDR γ-rays ‘normalized’ some genes that were modified by acute irradiation.
PMCID: PMC3579759  PMID: 23374750
21.  β-Cell Failure in Diet-Induced Obese Mice Stratified According to Body Weight Gain: Secretory Dysfunction and Altered Islet Lipid Metabolism Without Steatosis or Reduced β-Cell Mass 
Diabetes  2010;59(9):2178-2187.
C57Bl/6 mice develop obesity and mild hyperglycemia when fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Although diet-induced obesity (DIO) is a widely studied model of type 2 diabetes, little is known about β-cell failure in these mice.
DIO mice were separated in two groups according to body weight gain: low- and high-HFD responders (LDR and HDR). We examined whether mild hyperglycemia in HDR mice is due to reduced β-cell mass or function and studied islet metabolism and signaling.
HDR mice were more obese, hyperinsulinemic, insulin resistant, and hyperglycemic and showed a more altered plasma lipid profile than LDR. LDR mice largely compensated insulin resistance, whereas HDR showed perturbed glucose homeostasis. Neither LDR nor HDR mice showed reduced β-cell mass, altered islet glucose metabolism, and triglyceride deposition. Insulin secretion in response to glucose, KCl, and arginine was impaired in LDR and almost abolished in HDR islets. Palmitate partially restored glucose- and KCl-stimulated secretion. The glucose-induced rise in ATP was reduced in both DIO groups, and the glucose-induced rise in Ca2+ was reduced in HDR islets relatively to LDR. Glucose-stimulated lipolysis was decreased in LDR and HDR islets, whereas fat oxidation was increased in HDR islets only. Fatty acid esterification processes were markedly diminished, and free cholesterol accumulated in HDR islets.
β-Cell failure in HDR mice is not due to reduced β-cell mass and glucose metabolism or steatosis but to a secretory dysfunction that is possibly due to altered ATP/Ca2+ and lipid signaling, as well as free cholesterol deposition.
PMCID: PMC2927940  PMID: 20547980
22.  Low Dose Rate Radiosensitization of Hepatocellular Carcinoma In Vitro and in Patients1 
Translational Oncology  2014;7(4):472-478.
Transarterial radioembolization (TARE) with 90Y microspheres delivers low dose rate radiation (LDR) to intrahepatic tumors. In the current study, we examined clonogenic survival, DNA damage, and cell cycle distribution in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines treated with LDR in combination with varying doses and schedules of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), gemcitabine, and sorafenib. Radiosensitization was seen with 1 to 3 μM 5-FU (enhancement ratio 2.2–13.9) and 30 to 100 nM gemcitabine (enhancement ratio 1.9–2.9) administered 24 hours before LDR (0.26 Gy/h to 4.2 Gy). Sorafenib radiosensitized only at high concentrations (3–10 μM) when administered after LDR. For a given radiation dose, greater enhancement was seen with LDR compared to standard dose rate therapy. Summarizing our clinical experience with low dose rate radiosensitization, 13 patients (5 with HCC, 8 with liver metastases) were treated a total of 16 times with TARE and concurrent gemcitabine. Six partial responses and one complete response were observed with a median time to local failure of 7.1 months for all patients and 9.9 months for patients with HCC. In summary, HCC is sensitized to LDR with clinically achievable concentrations of gemcitabine and 5-FU in vitro. Encouraging responses were seen in a small cohort of patients treated with TARE and concurrent gemcitabine. Future studies are needed to validate the safety and efficacy of this approach.
PMCID: PMC4202782  PMID: 24956939
hepatocellular carcinoma; yttrium-90 microspheres; transarterial radioembolization; radiosensitization
23.  Biological equivalence between LDR and PDR in cervical cancer: multifactor analysis using the linear-quadratic model 
The purpose of this work was the biological comparison between Low Dose Rate (LDR) and Pulsed Dose Rate (PDR) in cervical cancer regarding the discontinuation of the afterloading system used for the LDR treatments at our Institution since December 2009.
Material and methods
In the first phase we studied the influence of the pulse dose and the pulse time in the biological equivalence between LDR and PDR treatments using the Linear Quadratic Model (LQM). In the second phase, the equivalent dose in 2 Gy/fraction (EQD2) for the tumor, rectum and bladder in treatments performed with both techniques was evaluated and statistically compared. All evaluated patients had stage IIB cervical cancer and were treated with External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT) plus two Brachytherapy (BT) applications. Data were collected from 48 patients (26 patients treated with LDR and 22 patients with PDR).
In the analyses of the influence of PDR parameters in the biological equivalence between LDR and PDR treatments (Phase 1), it was calculated that if the pulse dose in PDR was kept equal to the LDR dose rate, a small the-rapeutic loss was expected. If the pulse dose was decreased, the therapeutic window became larger, but a correction in the prescribed dose was necessary. In PDR schemes with 1 hour interval between pulses, the pulse time did not influence significantly the equivalent dose. In the comparison between the groups treated with LDR and PDR (Phase 2) we concluded that they were not equivalent, because in the PDR group the total EQD2 for the tumor, rectum and bladder was smaller than in the LDR group; the LQM estimated that a correction in the prescribed dose of 6% to 10% was ne-cessary to avoid therapeutic loss.
A correction in the prescribed dose was necessary; this correction should be achieved by calculating the PDR dose equivalent to the desired LDR total dose.
PMCID: PMC3551353  PMID: 23346123
brachytherapy; cervical cancer; LDR; PDR; EQD2; LQM
24.  Suitability of point kernel dose calculation techniques in brachytherapy treatment planning 
Brachytherapy treatment planning system (TPS) is necessary to estimate the dose to target volume and organ at risk (OAR). TPS is always recommended to account for the effect of tissue, applicator and shielding material heterogeneities exist in applicators. However, most brachytherapy TPS software packages estimate the absorbed dose at a point, taking care of only the contributions of individual sources and the source distribution, neglecting the dose perturbations arising from the applicator design and construction. There are some degrees of uncertainties in dose rate estimations under realistic clinical conditions. In this regard, an attempt is made to explore the suitability of point kernels for brachytherapy dose rate calculations and develop new interactive brachytherapy package, named as BrachyTPS, to suit the clinical conditions. BrachyTPS is an interactive point kernel code package developed to perform independent dose rate calculations by taking into account the effect of these heterogeneities, using two regions build up factors, proposed by Kalos. The primary aim of this study is to validate the developed point kernel code package integrated with treatment planning computational systems against the Monte Carlo (MC) results. In the present work, three brachytherapy applicators commonly used in the treatment of uterine cervical carcinoma, namely (i) Board of Radiation Isotope and Technology (BRIT) low dose rate (LDR) applicator and (ii) Fletcher Green type LDR applicator (iii) Fletcher Williamson high dose rate (HDR) applicator, are studied to test the accuracy of the software. Dose rates computed using the developed code are compared with the relevant results of the MC simulations. Further, attempts are also made to study the dose rate distribution around the commercially available shielded vaginal applicator set (Nucletron). The percentage deviations of BrachyTPS computed dose rate values from the MC results are observed to be within plus/minus 5.5% for BRIT LDR applicator, found to vary from 2.6 to 5.1% for Fletcher green type LDR applicator and are up to −4.7% for Fletcher-Williamson HDR applicator. The isodose distribution plots also show good agreements with the results of previous literatures. The isodose distributions around the shielded vaginal cylinder computed using BrachyTPS code show better agreement (less than two per cent deviation) with MC results in the unshielded region compared to shielded region, where the deviations are observed up to five per cent. The present study implies that the accurate and fast validation of complicated treatment planning calculations is possible with the point kernel code package.
PMCID: PMC2884310  PMID: 20589118
Brachytherapy; cervical cancer; low dose rate; treatment planning system; point kernel code; Monte Carlo
25.  High dose rate brachytherapy for oral cancer 
Journal of Radiation Research  2012;54(1):1-17.
Brachytherapy results in better dose distribution compared with other treatments because of steep dose reduction in the surrounding normal tissues. Excellent local control rates and acceptable side effects have been demonstrated with brachytherapy as a sole treatment modality, a postoperative method, and a method of reirradiation. Low-dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy has been employed worldwide for its superior outcome. With the advent of technology, high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy has enabled health care providers to avoid radiation exposure. This therapy has been used for treating many types of cancer such as gynecological cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. However, LDR and pulsed-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapies have been mainstays for head and neck cancer. HDR brachytherapy has not become widely used in the radiotherapy community for treating head and neck cancer because of lack of experience and biological concerns. On the other hand, because HDR brachytherapy is less time-consuming, treatment can occasionally be administered on an outpatient basis. For the convenience and safety of patients and medical staff, HDR brachytherapy should be explored. To enhance the role of this therapy in treatment of head and neck lesions, we have reviewed its outcomes with oral cancer, including Phase I/II to Phase III studies, evaluating this technique in terms of safety and efficacy. In particular, our studies have shown that superficial tumors can be treated using a non-invasive mold technique on an outpatient basis without adverse reactions. The next generation of image-guided brachytherapy using HDR has been discussed. In conclusion, although concrete evidence is yet to be produced with a sophisticated study in a reproducible manner, HDR brachytherapy remains an important option for treatment of oral cancer.
PMCID: PMC3534285  PMID: 23179377
brachytherapy; oral cancer; high dose rate

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