The liver has widely been accepted as an organ that is sensitive to radiation therapy and that great damage occurs if the liver receives a dosage exceeding 3000 cGy. The sensitivity of the liver to radiation therapy has caused radiation therapy to not be considered a viable source for treating cancerous liver tumors because a larger dose would be needed to do so. In order to determine the tolerable dose of radiation therapy for the liver, the livers of eight cynomolgus monkeys received radiation therapy using three-dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3DCRT), Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), and a combination of both 3DCRT and IMRT. When the critical structures of the monkeys were avoided in the radiation therapy, the monkeys were able to tolerate dosages of 5250 cGy while maintaining normal liver function. The results of this research indicate that radiation therapy may be a viable treatment for liver cancer, despite previous assumptions to the contrary.
Lindsey Griepenstroh, ’07 Dunbar, NE
Majors: Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Sponsor: Craig Teague