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Stimulation of Clonogenic Growth of Tumour Cells and Metastases in the Lungs by Local X-Radiation

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
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  • Medicine


Single cell suspensions of two allogeneic tumours (W-256 and Y-P388) injected intravenously produced macrocolonies in the lungs of rats. Colony forming efficiency (CFE, the number of colonies produced by each viable cell injected) was low in 6-week or older rats but was markedly increased by 1000-1500 rad local thoracic irradiation (LTI) given 7-14 days before the tumour cell injection, or by antilymphocytic serum (ALS) but not by sublethal whole body irradiation (WBI). Similarly, LTI increased the incidence of pulmonary metastases produced by a solid tumour growing in the leg muscle. Stimulation of CFE by LTI was a strictly local phenomenon and not due to effects of irradiation on thymus, spleen or other tissues of the rat. LTI failed to increase CFE in immunized rats. It is concluded that (1) LTI stimulates clonogenic growth of tumour cells arrested in the lungs, by causing inflammatory reactions accompanied by regenerative cellular proliferation of lung tissue, which increases the “plating” efficiency of tumour cells, (2) the increase in CFE in lungs is not due to suppression of immunity to tumour growth by LTI. ImagesFig. 3

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