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Students in Research

Student research is important to the field of veterinary medicine; is provides students will the skills and experience to pursue careers in research medicine, help make advances in the profession and medicine, and practice their critical thinking skills. Kerry from the University of Minnesota shares her own abstract on the research she was involved in.

The efficacy of sorafenib in a mouse model of radiation-induced dermatitis

University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine

by Kerry Goldin

Radiation therapy (RT) is prescribed in approximately 50% of cancer patients in North America. Radiation-induced dermatitis (RID) is a common side effect of RT, affecting up to 95% of patients. The effects of RID range from mild to severe and can lead to pain, disfigurement and may impede completion of the treatment regimen. While the pathophysiology of RID is partially known, a complete understanding is lacking and there are no clear effective therapeutic strategies. The objectives of this study were to: 1) characterize the microscopic features of RID in a hairless mouse model and 2) determine the effect of sorafenib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, on the clinical and microscopic progression of RID.  To define the dose-response effect in SKH1-hr1 mice following RT, a dose escalation (15 Gy, 20Gy, 25Gy, 30Gy) study was performed. To characterize the microscopic pathology of RID in SKH-hr1 mice and examine the efficacy of sorafenib, 2 groups (sorafenib+vehicle and vehicle only, n=5 / group) were irradiated. To evaluate the sequential effects of RT +/- treatment, biopsies were collected at 4 time points (2hr, 10d, 12d, 18d post RT). Mice were sacrificed at 24 days post RT. Tissues were collected for light microscopic and IHC analysis (VEGFR2, CD31, and TGF beta-1). Histopathologic evaluation revealed progressive epithelial thickening, and loss of sebaceous and follicular structures. The SKH1-hr1 mice appear to be an adequate model for RID. A single administration of topical sorafenib administered 24 hours prior to RT did not mitigate acute clinical RID but resulted in reduced VEGFR2 expression, reduced TGF beta-1 expression, and diminished epidermal hyperplasia with no effect on CD31 expression. 

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