Reactive oxygen species formation and bystander effects in gradient irradiation on human breast cancer cells
Modern radiobiology is undergoing rapid change due to new discoveries contradicting the target concept which is currently used to predict dose–response relationships. Thus relatively recently discovered radiation-induced bystander effects (RIBEs), that include additional death, mutation and radio-adaptation in non-irradiated cells, change our understanding of the target concept and broadens its boundaries. This can be significant from a radioprotection point of view and also has the potential to reassess radiation damage models currently used in radiotherapy. This article reviews briefly the general concepts of RIBEs such as the proposed underlying mechanisms of signal induction and propagation, experimental approaches and biological end points used to investigate these phenomena. It also summarises several mathematical models currently proposed in an attempt to quantify RIBE. The main emphasis of this article is to review and highlight the potential impact of the bystander phenomena in radiotherapy.