For the treatment of various types of primary and metastatic brain tumors, cranial radiotherapy is one of the most important therapeutic methods.
Although conventional photon irradiation has significantly improved the treatment of cancer, the central nervous system is prone to damage after high-dose irradiation, resulting in severe delayed or progressive nervous tissue injury. The issues regarding brain radiation injury have been widely discussed, and recent investigations have emphasized changes in pathomorphology. However, the underlying mechanism remains in debate.
Researchers at the School of Stomatology, Lanzhou University, China discovered that radiation-induced neuronal injury was more apparent after X-irradiation. Under atomic force microscopy, the neuronal membrane appeared rough and neuronal rigidity had increased. The depolymerization, misfolding or denaturation of microtubule associated proteins might contribute to the destruction of the nutrient transport channel within cells after radiation damage.
This could provide a theoretical basis for effectively improving the protection of normal brain tissue in future cranial radiotherapy. This article is released in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 11, 2014).