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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
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