In radiotherapy, cancer stem cells (CSCs) are well recognized as one of the radioresistant cell types. Even in a small subpopulation, CSCs may have an influence on tumor control probability, represented by cell killing after irradiation. However, the relationship between the percentage content of CSCs and the cell survival dose-response curve has not yet been quantitatively clarified. In this study, we developed a cell-killing model for two cell populations (CSCs and progeny cells) to predict the surviving fractions, and compared it with the conventional linear-quadratic (LQ) model. Three prostate cancer cell lines (DU145, PC3 and LNCaP) were exposed to X-rays at doses ranging from 0 to 10 Gy. After the irradiation, we performed clonogenic survival assays to generate the cell survival curves, and carried out flow-cytometric analyses to estimate the percentage content of CSCs for each cell line. The cell survival curves for DU145 cells and PC3 cells seemed not to follow the conventional LQ model in the high dose range (>8 Gy). However, the outputs of the developed model agreed better with the experimental cell survival curves than those of the LQ model. The percentage content of CSCs predicted by the developed model was almost coincident with the measured percentage content for both DU145 cells and PC3 cells. The experiments and model analyses indicate that a small subpopulation of radioresistant CSCs has lower radiosensitivity in the high-dose range, which may lessen the clinical outcome for patients with prostate cancer after high-dose radiation therapy.
Saga, R., Matsuya, Y., Takahashi, R., Hasegawa, K., Date, H., & Hosokawa, Y. (2019). Analysis of the high-dose-range radioresistance of prostate cancer cells, including cancer stem cells, based on a stochastic model. Journal of Radiation Research, 60(3), 298–307. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrr/rrz011