Low dose radiotherapy is a minimally used treatment modality for osteoarthritis in the United States, despite its use in other countries. Recent studies conducted outside of the US have shown radiotherapy to provide patients with long-term pain relief and improved mobility.
Researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center recent reviewed the most recent literature published on the use of low dose radiation therapy for osteoarthritis. Their review included an overview of the impact of osteoarthritis on patients and of criticisms for the treatment modality, in addition to recommendations on treatment techniques. They outlined recommendations on dose and fractionation, energy, beam arrangements, and immobilization techniques.
Read the full article, The Use of Low-Dose Radiation Therapy in Osteoarthritis: A Review, here.
Figure 3 details: Radiobiological mechanisms of anti-inflammatory effect of low-dose radiation therapy (LDRT). LDRT modulation of endothelial cells by reduced expression of adhesion molecules (1), resulting in a cascade of decreased cell migration and increased anti-inflammatory cytokines (2). Irradiated leukocytes result in a decrease of proinflammatory cytokines (7) and subsequent increased apoptosis (3); Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production is also reduced with irradiated leukocytes (4). Macrophage modulation by radiation (6) promotes regulatory immune cytokines while inhibiting proinflammatory cytokines and inducible nitric oxide synthase, downregulating nitric oxide production (5).