Understanding A Strange New Observation In Radiation Biology: When A Population Of Cells Is Irradiated, Even Un-Irradiated Bystanders Neighbours Are Damaged

Grant number: 1027558 | Funding period: 2012 - 2015

Completed

Abstract

Radiotherapy, a major treatment for more than half of cancer patients, is based on the dogma that radiation kills targeted cells. The radiation-induced bystander effect, by which the neighbours of irradiated cells can also damaged, is a new paradigm. What is the "danger signal" which induces DNA damage in un-irradiated normal tissues, and what minimal volume of tissue needs to be irradiated to induce bystander damage? The answers could have a major impact on optimising radiotherapy treatment.