Tissue toxicity induced by ionizing radiation to the normal intestine: Understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms to improve the medical management
Journal title : World Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume : 13
issue : 22
Pagination : 3031-3032
Publication date : 01/06/2007
At the present time, more than one-half of all cancer patients are treated with radiation therapy. Despite a good therapeutic index, radiotherapy can disable normal tissue injury to normal tissues m long-term cancer survivors. Thus, an important challenge to modern radiation therapy is to increase the tolerance of normal tissues, in order to improve the quality of life of the patients, and to enhance local tumor control using dose escalation and/or new biological radiosensitizers. The recent progress made by 3D-conformal and intensity-modulated radiation therapy has reduced radiation-induced complications especially in dose-limiting organs like the intestine. Yet, acute intestinal complications do occur but are generally transient, whereas low and mild grade chronic gastrointestinal side effects continue to influence the patient's quality of life. Because the clinical evolution of delayed intestinal toxicity is progressive and inevitable, these complications are of much concern m clinical practice and further improvement in the management of such patients is required.