Radiotherapy is one of the most frequently applied treatments in oncology. Tissue-absorbed ionizing radiation damages not only targeted cells but the surrounding cells too. The consequent long-term induced oxidative stress, irreversible tissue damage, or second malignancies draw attention to the urgent need of a follow-up medical method by which personalized treatment could be attained and the actually dose-limiting organ could be monitored in the clinical practice. We worked out a special hemisphere irradiation technique for mice which mimics the radiation exposure during radiotherapy. We followed up the changes of possible brain imaging biomarkers of side effects, such as cerebral blood flow, vascular endothelial function, and cellular metabolic processes for 60 days. BALB/c mice were divided into two groups (n=6 per group) based on the irradiation doses (5 and 20 Gy). After the irradiation procedure arterial spin labeling (ASL), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in magnetic resonance modality and [18F]fluoro-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scans of the brain were obtained at several time points (3, 7, 30, and 60 days after the irradiation). Significant physiological changes were registered in the brain of animals following the irradiation by both applied doses. Elevated standard uptake values were detected all over the brain by FDG-PET studies 2 months after the irradiation. The apparent diffusion coefficients from DWI scans significantly decreased one month after the irradiation procedure, while ASL studies did not show any significant perfusion changes in the brain. Altogether, our sensitive multimodal imaging protocol seems to be an appropriate method for follow-up of the health status after radiation therapy. The presented approach makes possible parallel screening of healthy tissues and the effectiveness of tumor therapy without any additional radiation exposure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging