Widel, M., Jedrus, S., Lukaszczyk, B., Raczek-Zwierzycka, K. and Swierniak, A. Radiation-Induced Micronucleus Frequency in Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes is Correlated with Normal Tissue Damage in Patients with Cervical Carcinoma Undergoing Radiotherapy. Radiat. Res. 159, 713–721 (2003).
In an effort to find a test to predict the response of normal tissue to radiotherapy, the lymphocyte micronucleus assay was used on blood samples from patients with cervical carcinoma. Peripheral blood samples from 55 patients with advanced-stage (II B–IV B) cervical carcinoma were obtained before radiotherapy. The patients were treated with external-beam radiotherapy followed by high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Acute and late normal tissue reactions were scored and correlated with the micronucleus frequency in lymphocytes after irradiation with 4 Gy in vitro. Great interindividual variability was observed in the radiation-induced lymphocyte micronucleus frequency, especially at 4 Gy. The mean number of micronuclei per 100 binucleated cells in cells irradiated with 4 Gy in vitro was significantly higher in samples from patients who suffered from acute and/or late normal tissue reactions than in those from patients with no reactions (51.0 ± 17.7 and 29.6 ± 10.1, respectively). A significant correlation was also found between the micronucleus frequency at 4 Gy and the severity of acute reactions and late reactions. However, the overlap between the micronucleus frequencies of patients with high-grade late normal tissue reactions and low-grade reactions is too great to recommend the micronucleus assay in its present form for routine clinical application.