Chronic oxidative stress and radiation-induced late normal tissue injury: a review

Int J Radiat Biol. 2004 Apr;80(4):251-9. doi: 10.1080/09553000410001692726.


Purpose: It is proposed that the development and progression of radiation-induced late effects are driven, in part, by chronic oxidative stress. This mini-review presents data to support this hypothesis and provides the foundation for antioxidant-based interventional approaches directed at modulating late normal tissue injury.

Conclusions: Although a causal link between chronic oxidative stress and radiation-induced late normal tissue injury remains to be established, a growing body of evidence appears to support the hypothesis that chronic oxidative stress might serve to drive the progression of radiation-induced late effects. The similarity between chronic tissue injury, chronic inflammation and fibrosis observed in a variety of disease states, including radiation late effects, is provocative and offers the opportunity to apply antioxidant-based therapies to mitigate and/or treat late radiation-induced normal tissue injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / metabolism
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism
  • Lung Diseases / etiology
  • Lung Diseases / metabolism
  • Organ Specificity
  • Oxidative Stress / radiation effects*
  • Radiation Injuries / metabolism*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Skin Diseases / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • Reactive Oxygen Species