A RABBIT MODEL FOR STUDYING THE EFFECTS OF FRACTIONATED RADIATION THERAPY ON BONE MICROSTRUCTURE, MECHANICS AND FRACTURE HEALING
Supervisor: Prof. Matthew Allen
2015 – present : PhD in Veterinary Sciences, Surgical Discovery Centre, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK
2012 – 2014 : MSc in Animal Medicine: Equine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil
2004 – 2009 : BSc in Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Uberlandia in Uberlandia, Brazil
Subject groups/Research projects
Radiation therapy (RTX) is widely used in the management of patients with soft tissue sarcoma (STS), genitourinary and gastrointestinal tumours, or secondary bone metastases associated with breast, prostate, lung and renal cancer. Bystander injury to bone in the course of external beam RTX is a prevalent problem associated with considerable morbidity, including the development of osteonecrosis and pathological fracture. For STS patients incurring fractures secondary to radiation therapy, morbidity is also high. Post-radiation fractures have high non-union rates (45 – 67%) and prolonged healing times of over 1 year in those that do heal. Many patients ultimately require operative intervention and may experience devastating and debilitating outcomes after fracture, including multiple procedures, major segmental bone resection, and even amputation.
Although the mouse model has been very useful for exploring the mechanisms underlying radiation injury to bone, the size of the animal severely limits its utility when considering therapeutic approaches.
Although the mouse has been very useful for exploring the mechanisms underlying radiation injury to bone, the size of the animal severely limits its utility when considering therapeutic approaches. There is a clear and pressing need for a reliable and clinically relevant animal model in which it will be possible to perform surgical strategies such as vascularized bone grafting, muscle flaps and the implantation of engineered tissue constructs. Rabbits have been used previously in studies on radiation injury to bone, but most of this work focused on the jaw or craniofacial skeleton. In this PhD project we will evaluate the effects of a clinically relevant fractioned radiation therapy regimen on rabbit bone.
Dr Maria Ines M. Jobim – Department of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazi