AbstractThe ability of essential fatty acids (EFAs) to modulate radiation-induced normal tissue injury was assessed in pig skin. Female Large White pigs (approximately 25 Kg) received 3 ml/day orally of either an 'active' oil [So-1100, containing 9% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)] or a 'placebo' oil (So-1129) for just 4 weeks before or for 4 weeks before and for 16 weeks after irradiation; localised irradiation of skin was with single doses of beta-rays from 22.5 mm diameter 90Sr/90Y plaques. The severity of the acute reaction, assessed in terms of erythema or moist desquamation, was significantly less in those pigs that received So-1100 both before and after irradiation, as compared with those receiving that oil only prior to irradiation and the 'placebo' groups. Dose modification factors (DMFs) of between 1.13-1.24 were obtained. A similar reduction in the severity of acute skin injury was seen in pigs receiving So-1100 for only 10 weeks after irradiation. Late skin damage, assessed in terms of late erythema or dermal necrosis, was also reduced with So-1100, with DMFs of 1.14-1.51. No such modification was observed if So-1100 was only administered for 4 weeks prior to irradiation. No adverse side-effects were apparent as a result of EFA administration. So-1100 may represent a safe and valuable method of increasing the therapeutic gain in radiotherapy.
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