Chromosome aberrations induced in human lymphocytes by radiation from 252cf

D. C. Lloyd*, R. J. Purrott, E. J. Reeder, Alan Edwards, G. W. Dolphin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In vitro dose-response curves of unstable chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes have been obtained for 252Cf neutron radiation. The aberration yields fitted best to the linear function Y = aD, which is consistent with the single-track model of aberration formation for high LET radiation. The curves have been compared with others previously produced in this laboratory for several energies of neutrons and for 60Co gamma radiation. The r.b.e. for 252Cf with respect to 60Co is 27 at very low doses, decreasing to 6 at an aberration yield equivalent to 400 rad of 18 rad/hour gamma radiation. A profile of chromosome-aberration induction with depth in a perspex phantom was obtained by placing blood samples at several distances over the range 0·65-2·0 cm from the californium source. This profile was compared with depth-damage calculations for a radium needle. The r.b.e. of 252Cf radiation relative to 226Ra gamma radiation increased with the distance from the source, implying that californium is more effective at greater distances in destroying the ability of cells to divide, which may be an advantage in the treatment of large tumours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1978

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the Churchill Hospital, Oxford, for the loan of the californium needles, and Dr . J . C . H . Miles and Mrs . F . Creasey for fission foil measurements. The work was partly supported by EURATOM contract 171-76-1 Bio U .K.


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