Radiation-induced toxicity in cancer patients with low plasma fibronectin levels

Roxana G. Baluna, Clifton D. Fuller, Tony Y. Eng, Federico L. Ampil, Charles R. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study was carried out to evaluate the levels of plasma fibronectin (Fn) in cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy (RT) in correlation with outcomes in terms of radiation toxicity. A total of 26 patients with lung and gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, treated with RT were enrolled in this study. Plasma Fn levels were determined before and following a course of RT. The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) criteria were used to determine the grade of RT toxicity. Statistical analysis utilised the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U-test as well as bivariate linear regression. Pre-RT Fn levels were significantly higher in cancer patients without toxicity (median ± SE) (485.0 ± 87 μg/ml) as compared with the levels of plasma Fn in patients with grade I-II RTOG acute toxicity (354.0 ± 74 μg/ml, p = 0.01). No significant difference in Fn levels was found in patients with grade I toxicity compared with patients with grade II toxicity. In addition, low baseline Fn levels (148 and 299 μg/ml) were observed in two lung cancer patients who developed symptomatic pneumonitis during the first 2 months after RT. These preliminary results suggest that low baseline Fn may have potential as a predictive marker for development of RT-induced toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Radiotherapy in Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • fibronectin
  • gastrointestinal cancer
  • lung cancer
  • radiation toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology


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