Radiation therapy may increase metastatic potential in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma

Gary M. Woods, Kathryn Bondra, Christopher Chronowski, Justin Leasure, Mamata Singh, Lauren Hensley, Timothy P. Cripe, Arnab Chakravarti, Peter J. Houghton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We previously determined that radiation could be safely administered using a mouse-flank in vivo model to both alveolar (Rh30) and embryonal (Rh18) rhabdomyosarcoma xenografts. Mice from both tumor lines in this experiment developed metastases, an event not previously described with these models. We sought to determine if radiation-induced changes in gene expression underlie an increase in the metastatic behavior of these tumor models. Procedure: Parental Rh18 and Rh30 xenografts, as well as tumor that recurred locally after radiotherapy (Rh18RT and Rh30RT), were grown subcutaneously in the flanks of SCID mice and then subjected to either fractionated radiotherapy or survival surgery alone. Metastasis formation was monitored and recorded. Gene expression profiling was also performed on RNA extracted from parental, recurrent, and metastatic tissue of both tumor lines. Results: Rh30 and Rh30RT xenografts demonstrated metastases only if they were exposed to fractionated radiotherapy, whereas Rh18 and Rh18RT xenografts experienced significantly fewer metastatic events when treated with fractionated radiotherapy compared to survival surgery alone. Mean time to metastasis formation was 40 days in the recurrent tumors and 73 days in the parental xenografts. Gene expression profiling noted clustering of Rh30 recurrent and metastatic tissue that was independent of the parental Rh30 tissue. Rh18RT xenografts lost radiosensitivity compared to parental Rh18. Conclusion: Radiation therapy can significantly decrease the formation of metastases in radio-sensitive tumors (Rh18) and may induce a more pro-metastatic phenotype in radio-resistant lines (Rh30).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1550-1554
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer genetics
  • Pediatric oncology
  • Radiation therapy
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiation therapy may increase metastatic potential in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this