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Radiat Res. 2002 Jan;157(1):99-105.

Enhanced neoplastic transformation by mammography X rays relative to 200 kVp X rays: indication for a strong dependence on photon energy of the RBE(M) for various end points.

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Department for Clinical Radiobiology and Clinical Radiation Physics, University of Göttingen, von-Siebold-Strasse 3, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Radiat Res 2002 Jul;158(1):126.


The fundamental assumption implicit in the use of the atomic bomb survivor data to derive risk estimates is that the gamma rays of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are considered to have biological efficiencies equal to those of other low-LET radiations up to 10 keV/microm, including mammography X rays. Microdosimetric and radiobiological data contradict this assumption. It is therefore of scientific and public interest to evaluate the efficiency of mammography X rays (25-30 kVp) to induce cancer. In this study, the efficiency of mammography X rays relative to 200 kVp X rays to induce neoplastic cell transformation was evaluated using cells of a human hybrid cell line (CGL1). For both radiations, a linear-quadratic dose-effect relationship was observed for neoplastic transformation of CGL1 cells; there was a strong linear component for the 29 kVp X rays. The RBE(M) of mammography X rays relative to 200 kVp X rays was determined to be about 4 for doses < or = 0.5 Gy. A comparison of the electron fluences for both X rays provides strong evidence that electrons with energies of < or = 15 keV can induce neoplastic transformation of CGL1 cells. Both the data available in the literature and the results of the present study strongly suggest an increase of RBE(M) for carcinogenesis in animals, neoplastic cell transformation, and clastogenic effects with decreasing photon energy or increasing LET to an RBE(M) approximately 8 for mammography X rays relative to 60Co gamma rays.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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