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BACKGROUND: The radiosensitising effect of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib on tumours has been reported. However, its effect on normal tissues in combination with radiation has not been well studied. Herein, we investigated the therapeutic index of olaparib combined with hemithoracic radiation in a urethane-induced mouse lung cancer model. METHODS: To assess tolerability, A/J mice were treated with olaparib plus whole thorax radiation (13 Gy), body weight changes were monitored and normal tissue effects were assessed by histology. In anti-tumour (intervention) studies, A/J mice were injected with urethane to induce lung tumours, and were then treated with olaparib alone, left thorax radiation alone or the combination of olaparib plus left thorax radiation at 8 weeks (early intervention) or 18 weeks (late intervention) after urethane injection. Anti-tumour efficacy and normal tissue effects were assessed by visual inspection, magnetic resonance imaging and histology. RESULTS: Enhanced body weight loss and oesophageal toxicity were observed when olaparib was combined with whole thorax but not hemithorax radiation. In both the early and late intervention studies, olaparib increased the anti-tumour effects of hemithoracic irradiation without increasing lung toxicity. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of olaparib increased the therapeutic index of hemithoracic radiation in a mouse model of lung cancer.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1809 - 1819


Animals, Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung, Disease Models, Animal, Female, Lung Neoplasms, Mice, Phthalazines, Piperazines, Radiation-Sensitizing Agents, Therapeutic Index, Thorax, Treatment Outcome