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The Onset of Tumour Repopulation after Radiotherapy in Theoretical and In-Vitro Models

Issue: Vol.3, No.3 - July 2004

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Article Type: Manuscript

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  1. Dr Loredana Marcu
    University of Adelaide, School of Chemistry and Physics, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Department of Medical Physics
  2. A B Lyons
  3. E Bezak
  4. T van Doorn

The mechanisms, as well as the onset of accelerated re-population, which is a marked increase in the growth rate after the commencement of radiotherapy, are topics still debated in the literature.  One of the possible mechanisms responsible for tumor re-population is accelerated stem cell division, which implies a shortening of the stem cycle time.

The aim of the present work was to study the onset of re-population both experimentally and theoretically, and to compare the findings.  Irradiated cell line cultures have indicated the possibility of an early onset re-population.  A computer-based model simulating radiotherapy on a virtual tumor has been built on tumor control.  It was accelerated stem cell division on tumor control.  It was shown that shortening the pre-treatment cell cycle time of the stem cells by a factor of 10 did not trigger the mechanism of re-population.  Moreover, if re-population was triggered at later times after commencement of treatment, tumor control increases, thus re-population was not achieved.  However, a cell cycle time as short as 1 hour, resulted in exponential growth of the surviving cells, leading to accelerated re-population.  However, such a short cell cycle time might not be biologically plausible.  Therefore, this study concludes that accelerated stem cell division, whilst an important contributor to re-population, is not the key mechanism of tumor regrowth.

 

 

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