Accurate description of heterogeneous tumors for biologically optimized radiation therapy
In this thesis, a model of tissue oxygenation is presented, that takes into account the heterogeneous nature of tumor vasculature. Even though the model is rather simple, the resulting oxygen distributions agree very well with clinically observed oxygen distributions for most tumors and healthy normal tissues. The model shows that the vascular density may not describe the oxygenation of a tissue sufficiently well, unless the heterogeneity of the vascular system is taken into account. Based on the oxygen distributions from the tissue model, the associated radiation response at low and high doses can be determined. The radiation response of heterogeneous tumors should preferably be described by two clonogen compartments, one resistant and one sensitive, dominating the response at high and low radiation doses, respectively. Furthermore, each compartment should be characterized by the effective radiation resistance and the effective clonogen number. The resistant-sensitive model of radiation response has been analyzed in great detail. It accurately describes the response of severely heterogeneous tumors, both at low and high doses and LET values. The effective response parameters are given as integrals, averaged over the whole spectrum of radiation resistance. The parameters can also be determined from clinically established dose-response relations. The main properties of the dose-response relation for a generally heterogeneous tumor is described in some detail. The normalized dose-response gradient has been generalized to take heterogeneities in both dose delivery and radiation response into account. This quantity is important for accurate treatment plan optimization using intensity modulated radiation therapy for individual patients.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:MEDICINE; Physiology and pharmacology; Radiological research; Radiation biology; heterogeneous tumors; radiation therapy; biological optimization; tumor hypoxia; effective radiation sensitivity; effective radiation resistance
Date of Publication:01/01/2004