Relative Biological Effectiveness of Energetic Heavy Ions for Intestinal Tumorigenesis Shows Male Preponderance and Radiation Type and Energy Dependence in APC1638N/+ Mice

Shubhankar Suman, Santosh Kumar, Bo Hyun Moon, Steve J. Strawn, Hemang Thakor, Ziling Fan, Jerry W. Shay, Albert J. Fornace, Kamal Datta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: There are uncertainties associated with the prediction of colorectal cancer (CRC) risk from highly energetic heavy ion (HZE) radiation. We undertook a comprehensive assessment of intestinal and colonic tumorigenesis induced after exposure to high linear energy transfer (high-LET) HZE radiation spanning a range of doses and LET in a CRC mouse model and compared the results with the effects of low-LET γ radiation. Methods and Materials: Male and female APC1638N/+ mice (n=20 mice per group) were whole-body exposed to sham-radiation, γ rays, 12C, 28Si, or 56Fe radiation. For the >1 Gy HZE dose, we used γ-ray equitoxic doses calculated using relative biological effectiveness (RBE) determined previously. The mice were euthanized 150 days after irradiation, and intestinal and colon tumor frequency was scored. Results: The highest number of tumors was observed after 28Si, followed by 56Fe and 12C radiation, and tumorigenesis showed a male preponderance, especially after 28Si. Analysis showed greater tumorigenesis per unit of radiation (per cGy) at lower doses, suggesting either radiation-induced elimination of target cells or tumorigenesis reaching a saturation point at higher doses. Calculation of RBE for intestinal and colon tumorigenesis showed the highest value with 28Si, and lower doses showed greater RBE relative to higher doses. Conclusions: We have demonstrated that the RBE of heavy ion radiation-induced intestinal and colon tumorigenesis is related to ion energy, LET, gender, and peak RBE is observed at an LET of 69 keV/μm. Our study has implications for understanding risk to astronauts undertaking long duration space missions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 20 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this