Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. Approximately 60 percent of cancer patients will receive radiation treatment at some point during their care. Its clinical prevalence makes understanding how novel cancer treatments may synergize with radiation therapy vital to drug development. Radiation therapy treatment uses high-energy x-rays to destroy or damage cancer cells while avoiding surrounding normal tissue. By utilizing anatomical imaging techniques such as MRI or CT, clinicians create a treatment plan that delivers a precise therapeutic dose to the tumor alone. Covance and Xstrahl, a world leader in preclinical targeted x-ray irradiators, have partnered to extend this powerful technology to you as a segment of Covance’s service offerings.
Xstrahl’s SARRP (Small Animal Radiation Research Platform), incorporates CT imaging with precise radiation delivery to enable researchers to pinpoint an exact anatomical target. This small animal irradiator can then deliver single or multiple beams of radiation to the target with the upmost accuracy, matching the clinical techniques used in oncology departments around the world. This precision becomes important particularly in the evaluation of immune activating therapies where whole animal irradiation would inhibit the animals immune system. The combination of precision radiation delivery and Covance’s expertise in Immuno-Oncology allows for the execution of complex and powerful study designs.
As a means to utilize the technology in a proof-of-concept experiment, the A20 mouse B-cell lymphoma tumor line was implanted bilaterally into the flanks of immune-competent mice. The right tumor was targeted for treatment with a fractionated dosing schedule of 2Gy five times a week for two weeks. On this dose schedule we observed tumor growth inhibition in the treated tumors. Contra-lateral tumors in the same mice were unaffected by the radiation treatment and match mock radiation control tumors. The lack of an abscopal effect could be due to the low dose utilized in this study. Subsequent experiments will evaluate the effects of less frequent but higher doses of radiation. In addition, Covance is well known for its orthotopic glioblastoma work and studies to examine the effects of focal beam radiation on tumors in the brain are of high interest.
Please contact us to access the power of Xstrahl’s SARRP.
Written by: Maryland Franklin, PhD, Vice President, Scientific Development