Incidence of tumours in the cervical region of the rat after treatment with radiation and hyperthermia

P Sminia, W Jansen, J Haveman, J D Van Dijk

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The incidence of tumours in the irradiated cervical region in female Wistar (WU) rats after retreatment of part of the volume with hyperthermia was examined retrospectively. The cervical spinal cord (cervical 5-thoracic 2) was irradiated with a single dose of 15, 18 or 20 Gy. Ninety days thereafter, the cervical region was heated by means of a microwave applicator at a maximum temperature of 43 degrees C for 50-90 min measured at the vertebral column. Over a period of 18 months after treatment, animals were regularly observed. Neurological complications and the development of neoplasms were noted. From the 354 animals included in the study, 82 animals developed a tumour. Hyperthermia alone was not carcinogenic, but enhanced the carcinogenesis induced by radiation. The percentage of animals that developed a tumour inside the volume treated with hyperthermia 90 days after irradiation was significantly higher relative to radiation alone (33 +/- 5 per cent versus 4 +/- 2 per cent, P less than 0.001). The duration of the latent period before appearance of these tumours was not affected (355 +/- 18 days versus 425 +/- 54 days). No significant differences in the percentage of animals that developed a tumour at another site were observed between different treatment groups. Histology revealed that 88 per cent (14/16) of the examined tumours found inside the treated volume after hyperthermia and irradiation were soft tissue rhabdomyosarcomas. Outside the treated volume, most tumours were tumours of the mammary gland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-36
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1990

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