Permeability of Brain Tumor Vessels Induced by Uniform or Spatially Microfractionated Synchrotron Radiation Therapies

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Aug 1;98(5):1174-1182. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2017.03.025. Epub 2017 Mar 21.


Purpose: To compare the blood-brain barrier permeability changes induced by synchrotron microbeam radiation therapy (MRT, which relies on spatial fractionation of the incident x-ray beam into parallel micron-wide beams) with changes induced by a spatially uniform synchrotron x-ray radiation therapy.

Methods and materials: Male rats bearing malignant intracranial F98 gliomas were randomized into 3 groups: untreated, exposed to MRT (peak and valley dose: 241 and 10.5 Gy, respectively), or exposed to broad beam irradiation (BB) delivered at comparable doses (ie, equivalent to MRT valley dose); both applied by 2 arrays, intersecting orthogonally the tumor region. Vessel permeability was monitored in vivo by magnetic resonance imaging 1 day before (T-1) and 1, 2, 7, and 14 days after treatment start. To determine whether physiologic parameters influence vascular permeability, we evaluated vessel integrity in the tumor area with different values for cerebral blood flow, blood volume, edema, and tissue oxygenation.

Results: Microbeam radiation therapy does not modify the vascular permeability of normal brain tissue. Microbeam radiation therapy-induced increase of tumor vascular permeability was detectable from T2 with a maximum at T7 after exposure, whereas BB enhanced vessel permeability only at T7. At this stage MRT was more efficient at increasing tumor vessel permeability (BB vs untreated: +19.1%; P=.0467; MRT vs untreated: +44.8%; P<.0001), and its effects lasted until T14 (MRT vs BB, +22.6%; P=.0199). We also showed that MRT was more efficient at targeting highly oxygenated (high blood volume and flow) and more proliferative parts of the tumor than BB.

Conclusions: Microbeam radiation therapy-induced increased tumor vascular permeability is: (1) significantly greater; (2) earlier and more prolonged than that induced by BB irradiation, especially in highly proliferative tumor areas; and (3) targets all tumor areas discriminated by physiologic characteristics, including those not damaged by homogeneous irradiation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Volume
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / diagnostic imaging
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiopathology
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / radiation effects*
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / radiation effects
  • Brain Edema / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Capillary Permeability / physiology
  • Capillary Permeability / radiation effects*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Glioma / blood supply*
  • Glioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Glioma / radiotherapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Synchrotrons*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Burden