Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Radiotherapy can cause lasting vascular disease: Changes in gene expression to blame, research suggests

Date:
March 22, 2010
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
For an as yet unknown reason, cancer radiotherapy can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease later in life, a problem that is growing as more and more people survive their cancer diagnosis. New research from Sweden now suggests that sustained inflammation induced by post-radiotherapy changes in the gene expression in the arteries could be the cause.

For an as yet unknown reason, cancer radiotherapy can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease later in life, a problem that is growing as more and more people survive their cancer diagnosis. New research from Karolinska Institutet now suggests that sustained inflammation induced by post-radiotherapy changes in the gene expression in the arteries could be the cause.

Epidemiological studies have shown that a course of radiotherapy increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in the same part of the body; for example, myocardial infarction after left-side breast cancer treatment, or stroke after the treatment of head and neck or brain tumours. Scientists know very little, however, about the biological causes of these serious side-effects, which often do not appear until many years following treatment.

"Studies have been hampered by the fact that the disease process is so slow," says Martin Halle, researcher at Karolinska Institutet. "Cell studies and animal studies are best suited to the more immediate effects, and studies on human subjects have been ruled out for ethical reasons."

By studying autografts that have been carried out after cancer, Martin Halle and colleagues have now for the first time managed to study the long-term effects of radiotherapy on human blood vessels. This type of autograft involves the transplantation of skin, muscle or bone tissue from one part of a patient's body to reconstruct defects that arise after the removal of a tumour in another, often irradiated, part. By harvesting biopsies from previously irradiated branches of the carotid arteries and non-irradiated arteries from grafts, the researchers have been able to compare the difference in global gene expression between irradiated and non-irradiated arteries from the same patient at the same time.

They found that the irradiated arteries showed signs of chronic inflammation and an increase in activity of Nuclear Factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), a transcription factor known for playing a key part in the development of atherosclerosis. The greater inflammatory gene expression was visible for several years after irradiation, and might, the researchers believe, explain why cancer patients can suffer cardiovascular disease many years after radiotherapy.

"Hopefully, these findings will one day help medicine to mitigate the side effects by administering radiotherapy in combination with an anti-inflammatory treatment," says Dr Halle.

The importance of the results is underscored by the publication of an explanatory commentary in the journal's editorial.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Halle M, Gabrielsen A, Paulsson-Berne G, Gahm C, Agardh HE, Farnebo F, Tornvall P. Sustained Inflammation Due to NF-Kappa B Activation in Irradiated Human Arteries. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2010; 55: 1227-1236 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2009.10.047

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Radiotherapy can cause lasting vascular disease: Changes in gene expression to blame, research suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322101523.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2010, March 22). Radiotherapy can cause lasting vascular disease: Changes in gene expression to blame, research suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322101523.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Radiotherapy can cause lasting vascular disease: Changes in gene expression to blame, research suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322101523.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins