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February 2014 SIT Newsletter
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Radiation Research Society

Scholars in Training (SIT)

Newsletter February 2014


SIT Programme 2014

The SIT committee has already started putting together the programme for next year’s workshop (RRS 2014) in Las Vegas! Please send ideas and suggestions to


SIT Publications

Are you a SIT member who just had a publication accepted?Please let us know so we can highlight your accomplishments here in the SIT Newsletter! Just email your citation and abstract to

Differential Expression of Homer1a in the Hippocampus and Cortex Likely Plays a Role in Radiation-Induced Brain Injury.

Moore ED, Kooshki M, Wheeler KT, Metheny-Barlow LJ, Robbins ME

Radiat Res. 2013 Dec 30.

Fractionated partial or whole-brain irradiation is the primary treatment for metastatic brain tumors. Despite reducing tumor burden and increasing lifespan, progressive, irreversible cognitive impairment occurs in >50% of the patients who survive >6 months after fractionated whole-brain irradiation. The exact mechanism(s) responsible for this radiation-induced brain injury are unknown; however, preclinical studies suggest that radiation modulates the extracellular receptor kinase signaling pathway, which is associated with cognitive impairment in many neurological diseases. In the study reported here, we demonstrated that the extracellular receptor kinase transcriptionally-regulated early response gene, Homer1a, was up-regulated transiently in the hippocampus and down-regulated in the cortex of young adult male Fischer 344 X Brown Norway rats at 48 h after 40 Gy of fractionated whole-brain irradiation. Two months after fractionated whole-brain irradiation, these changes in Homer1a expression correlated with a down-regulation of the hippocampal glutamate receptor 1 and protein kinase Cγ, and an up-regulation of cortical glutamate receptor 1 and protein kinase Cγ. Two drugs that prevent radiation-induced cognitive impairment in rats, the angiotensin type-1 receptor blocker, L-158,809, and the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, ramipril, reversed the fractionated whole-brain irradiation-induced Homer1a expression at 48 h in the hippocampus and cortex and restored glutamate receptor 1 and protein kinase Cγ to the levels in sham-irradiated controls at 2 months after fractionated whole-brain irradiation. These data indicate that Homer1a is, (1) a brain region specific regulator of radiation-induced brain injury, including cognitive impairment and (2) potentially a druggable target for preventing it.

Gold nanoparticle cellular uptake, toxicity and radiosensitisation in hypoxic conditions.

Jain S, Coulter JA, Butterworth KT, Hounsell AR, McMahon SJ, Hyland WB, Muir MF, Dickson GR, Prise KM, Currell FJ, Hirst DG, O'Sullivan JM

Radiother Oncol. 2014 Jan 17. pii: S0167-8140(13)00659-2

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) are novel agents that have been shown to cause radiosensitisation in vitro and in vivo. Tumour hypoxia is associated with radiation resistance and reduced survival in cancer patients. The interaction of GNPs with cells in hypoxia is explored.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: GNP uptake, localization, toxicity and radiosensitisation were assessed in vitro under oxic and hypoxic conditions.

RESULTS: GNP cellular uptake was significantly lower under hypoxic than oxic conditions. A significant reduction in cell proliferation in hypoxic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells exposed to GNPs was observed. In these cells significant radiosensitisation occurred in normoxia and moderate hypoxia. However, in near anoxia no significant sensitisation occurred.

CONCLUSIONS: GNP uptake occurred in hypoxic conditions, causing radiosensitisation in moderate, but not extreme hypoxia in a breast cancer cell line. These findings may be important for the development of GNPs for cancer therapy.

Upcoming professional meetings and courses

Do you know of any upcoming professional meetings? Please let us know, email details to


A course on

Radiobiology & Radiobiological Modelling in Radiotherapy


28 category-1 CPD points (Royal
College of Radiologists UK) awarded


23 - 27 February 2014

Leverhulme hotel Port
Sunlight, Wirral, UK.


See also

The course provides an understanding of both the radiobiological basis of radiation treatment for cancer and the use of radiobiological models in the evaluation and optimisation of radiotherapy treatment plans. It is aimed at all professionals involved in Radiotherapy: Clinical/Radiation Oncologists, Physicists, Therapy Radiographers, Dosimetrists / Treatment Planners, Researchers and University Teachers.


For more information:

February 10-14, 2014

A conference that brings together the International Conference on Translational Research in Radio-Oncology and Physics for Health in Europe.


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