Investigation of the physiological response of radiation-induced cystitis patients using hyperbaric oxygen.

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Clinical and Translational Radiation Oncology


INTRODUCTION: In this pilot study we have taken a novel functional approach to assess whether differences exist in the activity of key genes involved in the response to radiation and oxidative stress between patients with radiation cystitis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Arm 1 consisted of patients who had previously been treated for prostate cancer and who had received definitive radiation treatment and had subsequently developed cystitis and/or proctitis and were being treated by hyperbaric oxygen (HBO). Arm 2 consisted of patients who had never been treated by radiation but who were scheduled for HBO treatment for another pathology. The genes chosen for the study were HMOX1, NOS2, SOD2, TNFα, IL-6 and TGFβ. Blood and urine was collected pre and post HBO treatment.

RESULTS: Gene expression showed a significant difference in NOS2 (p = 0.0178) and TNFα (p = 0.037) between the control and cystitis patients. The plasma levels of VEGF-A were significantly elevated in cystitis patients and there was a strong trend for significant overexpression in urine. Comparing pre and post-dive samples showed little difference in both groups of patients except for VEGF-A which was reduced after the dive in plasma from cystitis patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This study uncovered some physiological differences in patients with radiation-induced cystitis using HBO treatment as a stimulus to induce mild oxidative stress. Further research is ongoing to assess whether the acute exposure to HBO might be a physiological screening tool to identify patients susceptible to chronic radiation toxicity.



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