Understanding and Targeting Avascular Necrosis To Treat Fracture Nonunion

Radiation damage to the skeleton during clinical radiotherapy is a well-recognized late effect, resulting in a spectrum of bone changes from osteopenia to osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis, or AVN). AVN is a result of impairment in blood flow to the bone cells, causing deterioration of the bone tissue. AVN can be caused by medical treatments and is linked with several disease conditions as well. Mechanisms underlying the cause of AVN are still unknown.

Dr. Chandra's lab has shown that severe loss of bone marrow vasculature is observed with radiotherapy-related bone damage. Since identifying senescent cells in the bone marrow, we are attempting to determine if an increase in the senescence burden leads to vascular damage and AVN. Our goal is to understand the mechanisms behind disease and induced AVN and then target the mechanisms to open a path for recovery.