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Thesis Defence: Assessment of peripheral blood components as predictive biomarkers of radiation-induced lung injury in four mouse models

August 28, 2023 at 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Sandra Popescu, supervised by Dr. Christina Haston, will defend their thesis titled “Assessment of peripheral blood components as predictive biomarkers of radiation-induced lung injury in four mouse models” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Medical Physics.

An abstract for Sandra Popescu’s thesis is included below.

Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Registration is not required for in person defences.


Purpose: Thoracic radiotherapy may lead to significant injury to lung normal tissue. Herein, this thesis modelled the onset of distress following high-dose thoracic radiation in two congenic mouse strains with varying survival time post irradiation and assessed peripheral blood traits for a predictor of radiation-induced lung injury.

Methods: Pneum1 and Radpf1 mice were given 14 Gy to the whole thorax using the RS2000 small animal irradiation unit (225 kVp; 1.625 Gy/min), or remained as nonirradiated controls. Irradiated and control mice were monitored weekly and euthanized 1 week post irradiation, 16 weeks post irradiation and at experimental end. Blood was collected at time of sacrifice for Complete Blood Count and Mammalian Comprehensive Chemistry tests. Data for C57BL/6 and C3H/HeJ mice was surveyed from the Mouse Phenome Database to assess correlation between blood traits in four strains of mice and survival time following lung irradiation.

Results: Female Pneum1 and Radpf1 mice differed in survival time following 14 Gy thoracic radiation. Only serum globulin and sodium measured in control Pneum1 and Radpf1 mice of 24−25 weeks of age differed significantly by strain (p<0.0001 and p=0.0004) and positively correlated with survival time with marginal significance (p=0.09 and p=0.07). Neutrophil and lymphocyte differentials measured in control C57BL/6, C3H/HeJ, Pneum1, and Radpf1 mice of 8−10 weeks of age significantly differed by strain (p<0.0001) and correlated with survival following 14 Gy exposure with marginal significance (p=0.08 and p=0.06).

Conclusion: Blood traits assessed in this thesis were not found to significantly correlate with survival following 14 Gy thoracic radiation, and thus no predictive biomarkers of radiation induced lung injury were found.


August 28, 2023
9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Arts and Sciences Centre (ASC)
3187 University Way
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7 Canada
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Thesis Defence
Research and Innovation, Science, Technology and Engineering
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