Proton radiotherapy has been implemented into the standard-of-care for cancer patients within recent years. However, experimental studies investigating cellular and molecular mechanisms are lacking, and prognostic biomarkers are needed. Cancer stem cell (CSC)-related biomarkers, such as aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), are known to influence cellular radiosensitivity through inactivation of reactive oxygen species, DNA damage repair, and cell death. In a previous study, we found that ionizing radiation itself enriches for ALDH-positive CSCs. In this study, we analyze CSC marker dynamics in prostate cancer, head and neck cancer, and glioblastoma cells upon proton beam irradiation. We find that proton irradiation has a higher potential to target CSCs through induction of complex DNA damages, lower rates of cellular senescence, and minor alteration in histone methylation pattern compared with conventional photon irradiation. Mathematical modeling indicates differences in plasticity rates among ALDH-positive CSCs and ALDH-negative cancer cells between the two irradiation types.
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Feb 2022|
Sustainable Development Goals
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- cancer stem cells, cellular plasticity, epigenetics, glioblastoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, prostate cancer, proton irradiation, radiobiology