Relative Biological Effectiveness of High-Energy Iron Ions for Micronucleus Formation at Low Doses

Torsten Groesser, Eugene Chun, Bjorn Rydberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Dose–response curves for micronucleus (MN) formation were measured in Chinese hamster V79 and xrs6 (Ku80)cells and in human mammary epithelial MCF10A cells in the dose range of 0.05–1 Gy. The Chinese hamster cells were exposed to 1 GeV/nucleon iron ions, 600 MeV/nucleon iron ions,and 300 MeV/nucleon iron ions (LETs of 151, 176 and 235keV/μm, respectively) as well as with 320 kVp X rays as reference.Second-order polynomials were fitted to the induction curves, and the initial slopes (the alpha values) were used to calculate RBE. For the repair-proficient V79 cells, the RBE at these low doses increased with LET. The values obtained were 3.1 ± 0.8 (LET = 151 keV/μm), 4.3 ± 0.5 (LET = 176keV/μm), and 5.7 ± 0.6 (LET = 235 keV/μm), while the RBE was close to 1 for the repair-deficient xrs6 cells regardless of LET. For the MCF10A cells, the RBE was determined for 1GeV/nucleon iron ions and was found to be 5.5 ± 0.9, slightly higher than for V79 cells. To test the effect of shielding, the1 GeV/nucleon iron-ion beam was intercepted by various thicknesses of high-density polyethylene plastic absorbers, which resulted in energy loss and fragmentation. It was found that the MN yield for V79 cells placed behind the absorbers decreased in proportion to the decrease in dose both before and after the iron-ion Bragg peak, indicating that RBE did not change significantly due to shielding except in the Bragg peak region. At the Bragg peak itself with an entrance dose of 0.5 Gy, where the LET is very high from stopping low-energy iron ions, the effectiveness for MN formation per unit dose was decreased compared to non-Bragg peak areas.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRadiation Research
Pages (from-to)675–682
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Relative Biological Effectiveness of High-Energy Iron Ions for Micronucleus Formation at Low Doses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this