PURPOSE: A dose "window of opportunity" has been identified in an earlier modeling study (1) if the inducible repair variant of the LQ model is adopted instead of the pure LQ model, and if all survival curve parameters are equally modified by the presence or absence of oxygen. In this paper we have extended the calculations to consider survival curve parameters from 15 sets of data obtained for cells tested at low doses using clonogenic assays.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: A simple computer model has been used to simulate the response of each cell line to various doses per fraction in multifraction schedules, with oxic and hypoxic cells receiving the same fractional dose. We have then used pairs of simulated survival curves to estimate the effective hypoxic protection (OER') as a function of the dose per fraction.
RESULTS: The resistance of hypoxic cells is reduced by using smaller doses per fraction than 2 Gy in all these fractionated clinical simulations, whether using a simple LQ model, or the more complex LQ/IR model. If there is no inducible repair, the optimum dose is infinitely low. If there is inducible repair, there is an optimum dose per fraction at which hypoxic protection is minimized. This is usually around 0.5 Gy. It depends on the dose needed to induce repair being higher in hypoxia than in oxygen. The OER' may even go below unity, i.e. hypoxic cells may be more sensitive than oxic cells.
CONCLUSIONS: If oxic and hypoxic cells are repeatedly exposed to doses of the same magnitude, as occurs in clinical radiotherapy, the observed hypoxic protection varies with the fractional dose. The OER' is predicted to diminish at lower doses in all cell lines. The loss of hypoxic resistance with superfractionation is predicted to be proportional to the capacity of the cells to induce repair, i.e. their intrinsic radioresistance at a dose of 2 Gy.
1999. Vol. 43, no 5, 1083-1094 p.