• Measurement tools for gastrointestinal symptoms in radiation oncology.

      West, Catharine M L; Davidson, Susan E; Academic Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Manchester, UK. Catharine.West@manchester.ac.uk (2009-03)
      PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the use of measurement tools for reporting gastrointestinal toxicity in radiation oncology to highlight recent findings of potential interest to those involved in the treatment of tumors in the pelvis, assessment of survivorship issues or management of bowel effects. RECENT FINDINGS: Multiple measurement tools are being used in radiation oncology studies involving both clinician and patient-reported outcomes. The increasing availability of accurate data on radiation doses and dose-volumes to normal tissues is enabling identification of critical areas where dose should be reduced to minimize organ damage. SUMMARY: Measurement tools for gastrointestinal symptoms are important to highlight therapeutic benefit for the expanding investigations of treatment intensification approaches and methods for toxicity reduction. The increasing use of the CTCAEv3 scales is a step forward, but further research is required to refine the system and improve its ease of use within routine clinical practice.
    • Radiation and the genome: from risks to opportunities for therapeutic exploitation.

      Robson, T; West, Catharine M L; School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland, UK. T.Robson@qub.ac.uk (2010-08)
      On 1 December 2009, the Radiation and Cancer Biology Committee of the British Institute of Radiology (BIR) held a one-day conference on the theme of radiation and the genome. Talks covered genomic instability (its importance for radiation-induced carcinogenesis and potential for exploitation in the development of novel chemoradiotherapy combinations) and the prospects of exploiting knowledge of the genome to understand how individual genetic variation can impact on a patient's likelihood of developing toxicity following radiotherapy. The meeting also provided an overview of stem cell biology and its relevance for radiotherapy in terms of both tumour (somatic) and normal tissue (germline) sensitivity to radiation. Moreover, the possibility of manipulating stem cells to reduce radiation-induced normal tissue damage was considered.