X-rays vs. carbon-ion tumor therapy: Cytogenetic damage in lymphocytes

Marco Durante, Shigeru Yamada, Koichi Ando, Yoshiya Furusawa, Tetsuya Kawata, Hideyuki Majima, Takashi Nakano, Hirohiko Tsujii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To measure chromosomal aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes from cancer patients treated with X-rays or carbon ions (C-ions). Methods and Materials: Blood samples from patients diagnosed for esophageal or uterine cervical cancer were obtained before, during, and at the end of the radiation treatment. The novel technique of interphase chromosome painting was used to detect aberrations in prematurely condensed chromosomes 2 and 4. The fraction of aberrant lymphocytes was measured as a function of the dose to the tumor volume. For comparison, blood samples were also exposed in vitro to X-rays or to carbon ions accelerated at the HIMAC. Results: C- ions were more efficient than X-rays in the induction of chromosomal aberrations in vitro. In patients with similar pathologies, tumor positions, and radiation field sizes, however, C-ions induced a lower fraction of aberrant lymphocytes than X-rays during the treatment. The initial slope of the dose-response curve for the induction of chromosomal aberrations during the treatment was correlated to the relative decrease in the number of white blood cells and lymphocytes during the treatment. Conclusion: C-ions induce a lower level of cytogenetic damage in lymphocytes than X-rays, reducing the risk of bone marrow morbidity. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-798
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jun 1


  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Heavy-ion therapy
  • Human lymphocytes
  • Uterine cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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