Variations in the Processing of DNA Double-Strand Breaks Along 60-MeV Therapeutic Proton Beams

Pankaj Chaudhary, Thomas I Marshall, Frederick J Currell, Andrzej Kacperek, Giuseppe Schettino, Kevin M Prise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
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PURPOSE: To investigate the variations in induction and repair of DNA damage along the proton path, after a previous report on the increasing biological effectiveness along clinically modulated 60-MeV proton beams.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Human skin fibroblast (AG01522) cells were irradiated along a monoenergetic and a modulated spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) proton beam used for treating ocular melanoma at the Douglas Cyclotron, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, Wirral, Liverpool, United Kingdom. The DNA damage response was studied using the 53BP1 foci formation assay. The linear energy transfer (LET) dependence was studied by irradiating the cells at depths corresponding to entrance, proximal, middle, and distal positions of SOBP and the entrance and peak position for the pristine beam.

RESULTS: A significant amount of persistent foci was observed at the distal end of the SOBP, suggesting complex residual DNA double-strand break damage induction corresponding to the highest LET values achievable by modulated proton beams. Unlike the directly irradiated, medium-sharing bystander cells did not show any significant increase in residual foci.

CONCLUSIONS: The DNA damage response along the proton beam path was similar to the response of X rays, confirming the low-LET quality of the proton exposure. However, at the distal end of SOBP our data indicate an increased complexity of DNA lesions and slower repair kinetics. A lack of significant induction of 53BP1 foci in the bystander cells suggests a minor role of cell signaling for DNA damage under these conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2016


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