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Volume 2011, Article ID 815190, 11 pages
Research Article

Physeal Bystander Effects in Rhabdomyosarcoma Radiotherapy: Experiments in a New Xenograft Model

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Musculoskeletal Sciences Research Center, Institute for Human Performance, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 505 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
2Imaging and Molecular Therapeutics Section, Radiation Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Room B3B100, MSC 1002, Bethesda, MD 20892-1002, USA
3Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Medical Center, The Ohio State University, 601 Vernon Tharp Street, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Received 28 November 2010; Accepted 20 January 2011

Academic Editor: Luca Sangiorgi

Copyright © 2011 Jason A. Horton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Radiotherapy used in the treatment of pediatric musculoskeletal sarcomas may result in crippling defects of skeletal growth. Several radioprotective strategies have shown potential for preserving function of the irradiated epiphysis but have not been evaluated in a tumor-bearing animal model. We developed two bioluminescent human rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines that were used to establish xenograft tumors in skeletally immature mice. Bioluminescence imaging and radiography allowed serial evaluation of tumor growth and tibial elongation following localized radiotherapy. High-dose (10 Gy) radiotherapy significantly reduced tumor growth velocity and prolonged the median survival of tumor-bearing mice but also resulted in a significant 3.3% shortening of the irradiated limb. Exposure to a lower, 2 Gy dose resulted in 4.1% decrease in limb length but did not extend survival. This new model provides a clinically relevant means to test the efficacy and safety of novel radioprotectant and radiorecovery strategies for use in this context.