Local Hypothermia as a Radioprotector of the Rectal Wall During Prostate Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

Brian A. Hrycushko, Rajiv Chopra, James W. Sayre, James A. Richardson, Michael R. Folkert, Robert D. Timmerman, Paul M. Medin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose To compare the single-fraction dose-related incidence of rectal obstruction and/or bleeding in normothermic and hypothermic rectums of a rat model. Methods and Materials A 1.9-cm length of rectum was irradiated with a single fraction in 57 Sprague-Dawley rats using a dedicated image-guided small animal irradiator and Monte Carlo–based treatment planning system. All rats had a rectal temperature control apparatus placed during irradiation and were stratified to achieve either a normothermic (37°C) or hypothermic (15°C) rectal wall temperature. Radiation was delivered to a 1-cm-diameter cylindrical volume about the cooling device and rectal wall. The radiation dose was escalated from 16 Gy up to 37 Gy to assess the dose response in each arm. The primary endpoint of this study was rectal obstruction and/or bleeding during a follow-up of 180 to 186 days. Histologic scoring was performed on all study rats. Results Probit analysis showed a dose associated with a 50% incidence of rectal obstruction of 24.6 Gy and 40.8 Gy for normothermic and hypothermic arms, respectively. The occurrence of obstruction and/or bleeding correlated with the posttreatment histologic score for normothermic rats; however, there was no difference in histologic score between normothermic and hypothermic rats at the highest dose levels evaluated. Conclusions A significant radioprotective effect was observed using local hypothermia during a single large dose of radiation for the functional endpoint of rectal obstruction and/or bleeding. A confirmatory study in a large animal model with anatomic and physiologic similarities to humans is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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