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This article is part of the supplement: IEEE 7th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering at Harvard Medical School

Open Access Open Badges Research

Analyzing adjuvant radiotherapy suggests a non monotonic radio-sensitivity over tumor volumes

Jack Y Yang1, Andrzej Niemierko1*, Mary Qu Yang2 and Youping Deng3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA

2 National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20852, USA

3 Department of Biological Sciences, Bioinformatics and Cancer Biology Laboratory, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, USA

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9(Suppl 2):S9  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-S2-S9

Published: 16 September 2008



Adjuvant Radiotherapy (RT) after surgical removal of tumors proved beneficial in long-term tumor control and treatment planning. For many years, it has been well concluded that radio-sensitivities of tumors upon radiotherapy decrease according to the sizes of tumors and RT models based on Poisson statistics have been used extensively to validate clinical data.


We found that Poisson statistics on RT is actually derived from bacterial cells despite of many validations from clinical data. However cancerous cells do have abnormal cellular communications and use chemical messengers to signal both surrounding normal and cancerous cells to develop new blood vessels and to invade, to metastasis and to overcome intercellular spatial confinements in general. We therefore investigated the cell killing effects on adjuvant RT and found that radio-sensitivity is actually not a monotonic function of volume as it was believed before. We present detailed analysis and explanation to justify above statement. Based on EUD, we present an equivalent radio-sensitivity model.


We conclude that radio sensitivity is a sophisticated function over tumor volumes, since tumor responses upon radio therapy also depend on cellular communications.