BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
The aim of this study was to evaluate the biological equivalence of continuous low dose rate (LDR) irradiations to multifractionated high dose rate (HDR) regimes. The applicability of the LQ model was analysed for fraction sizes and dose rates relevant for the clinic.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Investigations were performed in mouse lip mucosa. HDR fractions were given in an overall treatment time ranging from 10 h to 3.5 days. The dose rate effect was analysed in the range of 84 to 0.76 Gy/h. For an assessment of biological equivalence in comparison to LDR, HDR irradiations have been performed in the same overall treatment time as the corresponding LDR regimes.
Recovery leads to sparing of radiation damage as the dose rate is reduced from 84 to 0.76 Gy/h (20.0 versus 45.7 Gy ED50). No significant additional sparing from 0.9 to 0.76 Gy/h could be demonstrated (44.9 versus 45.7 Gy ED50). Even 30 HDR fractions in 24 h were not sufficient to match the effect of LDR over the same time period (38.2 versus 41.1 Gy ED50). The present data give evidence for a bi-exponential repair process in mouse lip mucosa (T1/2 fast 27 min, T1/2 slow 150 min). Repair is dominated by the faster component (> 80%).
LDR is the most efficient way to deliver radiation if recovery is to be maximised and the overall time kept as short as possible. When used with realistic parameters the LQ model is capable of providing quantitative guidelines in areas of clinical interest.
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