Radiotherapy is a prominent therapy for many malignant and non-malignant disorders, though it can cause side effects such as radiation-induced cystitis. Current research has highlighted a role for mast cells and macrophages in the prognosis of such radiation-induced toxicities. However, the prognostic value of these immune cells in the pathophysiology of radiation-induced cystitis is not clear. As such, a systematic review was conducted to assess myeloid-lineage immune cells for their prognostic value in radiation-induced cystitis to address this gap in literature.
The protocol was registered in PROSPERO, and searches were performed in PubMed, Embase and Web of Science databases for pre-clinical rodent studies on radiation-induced cystitis.
After de-duplication, 153 articles were screened for relevancy by title and abstract. Title and abstract screening deemed 64 studies irrelevant. The remaining 85 studies were full-text screened, yielding seven unique articles for data extraction. Most included studies had an unclear risk of bias. The findings of this systematic review suggest that the prognostic value of myeloid-lineage immune cells in radiation-induced cystitis is still unclear, indicating a need for further research in this field.
Although the studies reviewed provide some insight into the role of these immune cells in disease pathology, the limited number of studies and unclear risk of bias further highlights a need for additional, high-quality research in this area. In summary, this systematic review highlights a need to understand the involvement of immune cells in radiation-induced cystitis pathophysiology and lay the groundwork for further research in this area.