Low-dose radiotherapy is widely accepted as a very effective treatment option for inflammatory symptoms associated with painful degenerative joint disorders. Radiation doses and fractionation schedules in practical use are empirical and mainly based on clinical observations. Experimental data are rare. The efficacy of low-dose X-irradiation on adjuvant induced arthritis in rats using different fractionation schemes was investigated in vivo, in order to explore whether there is a dose and fractionation dependence.
Adjuvant arthritis in female Lewis rats (n = 128) was induced by intradermal injection of heat-inactivated Mycobacterium tuberculosis on day 0. Both arthritic hind paws were sham-irradiated (group 1: days 10-14; group 2: days 15-19; group 3: days 22-26) or X-irradiated with either 5 x 1.0 Gy (group 4: days 10-14; group 6: days 15-19; group 8: days 22-26; group 10: days 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18) or 5 x 0.5 Gy (group 5: days 10-14; group 7: days 15-19; group 9: days 22-26; group 11: days 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18; group 12: days 10-14 and 22-26). The clinical parameters arthritis score (AS), hind paw volume (HPV), and body weight were determined.
A significant decrease of the clinical arthritis parameters was observed following 5 x 0.5 Gy or 5 x 1.0 Gy during the acute maximum of the inflammatory response (days 15-19). The most pronounced treatment effect was reached after two daily fractionated series of 5 x 0.5 Gy with an early treatment onset (days 10-14) and repetition in interval (days 22-26). After the application of 5 x 1.0 Gy on days 10-14 or in a protracted scheme (days 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18), only a nonsignificant positive trend could be detected. Daily fractionated X-irradiation in the chronic phase of adjuvant arthritis (days 22-26) did not show any positive clinical effect.
Low-dose radiotherapy is able to prevent a full-blown arthritic reaction if given during the florid phase of adjuvant arthritis. Two series of 5 x 0.5 Gy with an early treatment onset (days 10-14) and repetition in interval (days 22-26) were the most effective treatment schedule in this experimental study.
"However, arthrosis, i.e. the degeneration of articular cartilage, leads to an inflammatory reaction in the synovial membrane which again aggravates arthrosis
. Several authors showed in animal models that low-dose radiotherapy attenuates the arthritic response by anti-inflammatory effects and decreases its clinical symptoms
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
To evaluate the efficacy of low-dose radiotherapy in painful gonarthritis.
We assessed the medical records of 1037 patients with painful gonarthritis who had undergone low-dose radiotherapy between 1981 and 2008. The subjective patient perception of the response to irradiation as graded immediately or up to two months after the completion of a radiotherapy series was evaluated and correlated with age, gender, radiological grading and the duration of symptoms before radiotherapy. Moreover, we performed a mail survey to obtain additional long-term follow-up information and received one hundred and six evaluable questionnaires.
We assessed 1659 series of radiotherapy in 1037 patients. In 79.3% of the cases the patients experienced a slight, marked or complete pain relief immediately or up to two months after the completion of radiotherapy. Gender, age and the duration of pain before radiotherapy did not have a significant influence on the response to irradiation. In contrast, severe signs of osteoarthritis were associated with more effective pain relief. In more than 50% of the patients who reported a positive response to irradiation a sustained period of symptomatic improvement was observed.
Our results confirm that low-dose radiotherapy is an effective treatment for painful osteoarthritis of the knee. In contrast to an earlier retrospective study, severe signs of osteoarthritis constituted a positive prognostic factor for the response to irradiation. A randomized trial is urgently required to compare radiotherapy with other treatment modalities.
"In order to explore the lowest effective dose, the optimal time of treatment and the most favorable schedule, the effect of different fractionation schemes was analyzed by Liebmann et al. The most pronounced treatment effect was observed after two daily fractionated series of 5 × 0.5 Gy with an early treatment onset (days 10–14) and repetition after an interval of 8 days (days 22–26; Liebmann et al., 2004). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory diseases are the result of complex and pathologically unbalanced multicellular interactions. For decades, low-dose X-irradiation therapy (LD-RT) has been clinically documented to exert an anti-inflammatory effect on benign diseases and chronic degenerative disorders. By contrast, experimental studies to confirm the effectiveness and to reveal underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are still at their early stages. During the last decade, however, the modulation of a multitude of immunological processes by LD-RT has been explored in vitro and in vivo. These include leukocyte/endothelial cell adhesion, adhesion molecule and cytokine/chemokine expression, apoptosis induction, and mononuclear/polymorphonuclear cell metabolism and activity. Interestingly, these mechanisms display comparable dose dependences and dose-effect relationships with a maximum effect in the range between 0.3 and 0.7 Gy, already empirically identified to be most effective in the clinical routine. This review summarizes data and models exploring the mechanisms underlying the immunomodulatory properties of LD-RT that may serve as a prerequisite for further systematic analyses to optimize low-dose irradiation procedures in future clinical practice.
Frontiers in Oncology 09/2012; 2:120. DOI:10.3389/fonc.2012.00120
"The hTNF-tg mouse represents a model which is very close to the chronic autoimmune situation in humans. Even under those conditions LD-RT led to a temporary improvement of symptoms of PA, a finding which was also detected in case of inducible arthritis . Our experiments highlight that LD-RT should be taken into account for clinical treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) displays a chronic inflammatory joint disease, accompanied by symmetric polyarthritis (PA) which evokes synovial inflammation, cartilage damage, and bone erosion. Patients with RA are routinely treated by immunosuppressive drugs. The therapy of inflammatory diseases and degenerative disorders with Low-dose radiotherapy (LD-RT) (single doses from 0.3 to 1.0 Gy) represents a low cost therapy with low toxicity, and is able to substitute at least in part treatment with drugs. The efficiency of LD-RT has already been proven in several animal models of inducible arthritis. In the present study we used a human TNF transgenic mouse model to examine the effects of LD-RT on PA. We observed a significant temporal improvement of the clinical progression of disease when mice were irradiated at the beginning of the disease. These data emphasize the role of LD-RT in clinical settings to treat patients with chronic and degenerative disorders and diseases.
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