The effects of radiation on angiogenesis.

Author: Grabham P, Sharma P.
Conference/Journal: Vasc Cell.
Date published: 2013 Oct 26
Other: Volume ID: 5 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 19 , Word Count: 245

The average human body contains tens of thousands of miles of vessels that permeate every tissue down to the microscopic level. This makes the human vasculature a prime target for an agent like radiation that originates from a source and passes through the body. Exposure to radiation released during nuclear accidents and explosions, or during cancer radiotherapy, is well known to cause vascular pathologies because of the ionizing effects of electromagnetic radiations (photons) such as gamma rays. There is however, another type of less well-known radiation -- charged ion particles, and these atoms stripped of electrons, have different physical properties to the photons of electromagnetic radiation. They are either found in space or created on earth by particle collider facilities, and are of significant recent interest due to their enhanced effectiveness and increasing use in cancer radiotherapy, as well as a health risk to the growing number of people spending time in the space environment. Although there is to date, relatively few studies on the effects of charged particles on the vascular system, a very different picture of the biological effects of these particles compared to photons is beginning to emerge. These under researched biological effects of ion particles have a large impact on the health consequences of exposure. In this short review, we will discuss the effects of charged particles on an important biological process of the vascular system, angiogenesis, which creates and maintains the vasculature and is highly important in tumor vasculogenesis.
PMID: 24160185