Growth laws in cancer: Implications for radiotherapy

P. Castorina, T. S. Deisboeck, P. Gabriele, C. Guiot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Comparing the conventional Gompertz tumor growth law (GL) with the "Universal" law (UL), which has recently been proposed and applied to cancer, we have investigated the implications of the growth laws for various radiotherapy regimens. According to the GL, the surviving tumor cell fraction could be reduced ad libitum, independent of the initial tumor mass, simply by increasing the number of treatments. In contrast, if tumor growth dynamics follows the Universal scaling law, there is a lower limit of the surviving fraction that cannot be reduced further regardless of the total number of treatments. This finding can explain the so-called tumor size effect and re-emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis because it implies that radiotherapy may be successful provided that the tumor mass at treatment onset is rather small. Taken together with our previous work, the implications of these findings include revisiting standard radiotherapy regimens and treatment protocols overall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


Dive into the research topics of 'Growth laws in cancer: Implications for radiotherapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this