Risk estimation based on chromosomal aberrations induced by radiation

M. Durante, S. Bonassi, K. George, F. A. Cucinotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The presence of a causal association between the frequency of chromosomal aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes and the risk of cancer has been substantiated recently by epidemiological studies. Cytogenetic analyses of crew members of the Mir Space Station have shown that a significant increase in the frequency of chromosomal aberrations can be detected after flight, and that such an increase is likely to be attributed to the radiation exposure. The risk of cancer can be estimated directly from the yields of chromosomal aberrations, taking into account some aspects of individual susceptibility and other factors unrelated to radiation. However, the use of an appropriate technique for the collection and analysis of chromosomes and the choice of the structural aberrations to be measured are crucial in providing sound results. Based on the fraction of aberrant lymphocytes detected before and after flight, the relative risk after a long-term Mir mission is estimated to be about 1.2-1.3. The new technique of mFISH can provide useful insights into the quantification of risk on an individual basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-667
Number of pages6
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number5 II
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biophysics
  • Radiation


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