The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository holds full-text theses and dissertations submitted for higher degrees at the University (including submissions from former Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon).
The leukocyte apoptosis assay : a clinical predictor of radiosensitivity?
The main objective of radiotherapy is to completely eradicate tumours while preserving
the integrity of the normal surrounding tissue. The severity of normal tissue reactions
varies considerably amongst individuals. Following the same treatment regime for
individuals with identical tumours in terms of location, pathology and size might result in
adverse tissue reactions for some while others may experience no adverse reactions.
Based on this principle some individuals who are more radiosensitive than others are
receiving beyond normal tissue tolerance doses while others, who are more
radioresistant, receive sub-tolerance doses. These differences in response to radiation
are a concern for both the patient and the oncologist. For these reasons it is essential to
predict individual responses to radiotherapy in order to optimise the treatment regime for
The development of predictive assays for normal tissue reactions are in the early stages
and not routinely used in laboratories. Qualities of a predictive assay should include the
capacity to distinguish between small changes in individual radiosensitivity. These
assays should also be easy and quick to perform so that it can be employed during the
initial treatment planning phase for therapy. Also, the assay should be inexpensive
enough to be used on a daily basis in the clinic.