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Int J Radiat Biol. 2006 Mar;82(3):153-60.

A pilot study examining germline minisatellite mutations in the offspring of Danish childhood and adolescent cancer survivors treated with radiotherapy.

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  • 1Genetics Department, Westlakes Research Institute, Cumbria, UK.



To investigate germline mutation rate at eight minisatellite loci in 24 Danish families, where one parent is the survivor of childhood or adolescent cancer treated with radiotherapy.


Parents and offspring were profiled for eight hypervariable minisatellite loci (B6.7, CEB1, CEB15, CEB25, CEB36, MS1, MS31, MS32) by Southern blotting.


Seven paternal mutations were observed for 130 informative alleles in 18 offspring from 11 radiation-exposed fathers (mean preconceptional dose for offspring 0.29 Gy, range<0.01-1.2 Gy), compared to six mutations for 146 informative alleles in 21 offspring from 13 unexposed fathers. No statistically significant difference between the total paternal mutation rates was observed (5.4% for exposed fathers and 4.1% for unexposed fathers). Three maternal mutations were observed for 148 informative alleles in 21 offspring from 13 radiation-exposed mothers (mean preconceptional dose for offspring 0.71 Gy, range <0.01-9.2 Gy), compared to one mutation for 130 informative alleles in 18 offspring from 11 unexposed mothers. Again, no statistically significant difference was observed between the total maternal mutation rates (2.0% for exposed mothers and 0.8% for unexposed mothers).


The data from this pilot study demonstrate no statistically significant increase in germline minisatellite mutation rate associated with radiotherapy for childhood and adolescent cancer.

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