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Radiat Environ Biophys. 2004 Sep;43(3):165-71. Epub 2004 Aug 7.

A model of chromosome aberration induction and chronic myeloid leukaemia incidence at low doses.

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Università degli Studi di Pavia, Dipartimento di Fisica Nucleare e Teorica, INFN-Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, via Bassi 6, 27100, Pavia, Italy.


Some chromosome aberration types, generally translocations, are correlated with specific cancers. An example is provided by chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells, most of which carry a translocation involving the ABL gene on chromosome 9 and the BCR gene on chromosome 22. The hypothesis of a causal relationship between CML and the chimeric protein product of the BCR-ABL translocation has recently received strong support. In this framework, a mechanistic model and Monte-Carlo code simulating radiation-induced chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes will be presented. The current version of the model can predict dose-response curves for the main aberration types following acute irradiation with gamma rays and light ions of different energies. The model is based on the assumption that only clustered DNA lesions can lead to aberrations and that only lesion free ends in neighbouring chromosome territories can join and form exchanges. Such lesions are distributed within the cell nucleus according to the radiation track structure, i.e. randomly for low-LET radiation and along straight lines for high-LET light ions. Interphase chromosome territories are explicitly simulated and background aberrations are taken into account. Very good agreement was found with experimental data taken from the literature that provided a further validation of the model. As an application, yields of BCR-ABL translocations were calculated. Preliminary results led to a CML induction dose-response that is approximately quadratic below 0.1 Gy and essentially linear at higher doses up to 1 Gy. The numerical values obtained for the probability of CML induction are consistent with values obtained by other groups with different approaches.

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