Radiation pulmonary toxicity: From mechanisms to management
Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted
The goal of radiation therapy is to reduce or eliminate tumor burden while sparing normal tissues from long-term injury. Thoracic radiation presents a unique challenge because of the inherent sensitivity of normal lung tissue to radiation. Damage to normal lung tissue presents a major obstacle in the treatment of individuals. To overcome this problem, a number of strategies are being used, including the modulation of dose volume, the use of image-guided radiotherapy, and the use of agents designed to reduce lung injury from radiation. Herein we discuss our current knowledge of the molecular and cellular events that occur after radiation therapy, the clinical manifestations of radiation-induced lung injury, current strategies to minimize lung injury, and recent experimental methods to reduce lung injury and their potential for translation into the clinic.