George, K., Durante, M., Willingham, V., Wu, H., Yang, T. C. and Cucinotta, F. A. Biological Effectiveness of Accelerated Particles for the Induction of Chromosome Damage Measured in Metaphase and Interphase Human Lymphocytes. Radiat. Res. 160, 425–435 (2003).
Chromosome aberrations were investigated in human lymphocytes after in vitro exposure to 1H-, 3He-, 12C-, 40Ar-, 28Si-, 56Fe-, or 197Au-ion beams, with LET ranging from approximately 0.4-1393 keV/μm in the dose range of 0.075–3 Gy. Dose–response curves for chromosome exchanges, measured at the first mitosis postirradiation using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with whole-chromosome probes, were fitted with linear or linear-quadratic functions. The relative biological effectiveness (RBE) was estimated from the initial slope of the dose–response curve for chromosomal damage with respect to low- or high-dose-rate γ rays. Estimates of RBEmax values for mitotic spreads, which ranged from near 0.7 to 11.1 for total exchanges, increased with LET, reaching a maximum at about 150 keV/μm, and decreased with further increase in LET. RBEs for complex aberrations are undefined due to the lack of an initial slope for γ rays. Additionally, the effect of mitotic delay on RBE values was investigated by measuring chromosome aberrations in interphase after chemically induced premature chromosome condensation (PCC), and values were up to threefold higher than for metaphase analysis.