Heavy ion irradiation

Charged particle irradiation is a form of radiation that has high linear energy transfer (LET) and produces more complex DNA double strand breaks compared to X- or gamma-rays. Iron and carbon ions are a form of charged particle irradiation. When traversing a body or material, heavy ions deposit most of their energy within a small distance, called the Bragg peak. If the Bragg peak is focused to coincide with the point of the tumour, this can result in less damage to surrounding normal tissue compared to X-ray irradiation. Carbon ion therapy is being used successfully at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), Chiba in Japan. We are interested in studying the DNA DSBs induced by high LET radiation (including heavy ions) because they are highly complex, and are repaired more slowly that X- or gamma-ray - induced DSBs. Most signficantly, the appear to have a greater possibility for undergoing repair by homologous recombination in G2 phase. The Jeggo laboratory has established an interaction wtih NIRS in Japan and are collaborating with them to examine the repair of DSBs induced by heavy ions. There is also a linear accelerator in Darmstadt and we are interfacing with scientists there to study high LET induced DSBs. Alpha particle irradiation is another form of high LET irradiation and we are collaborating with Dr. Peter O'Neill in Oxford University to examine repair of alpha-particle induced DSBs.


Dr. Markus Lobrich, Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany.

Dr. Gisela Taucher-Scholz, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany

Drs. Mark Hill and Peter O'Neill, the Gray Institute of Radiation Biology, Oxford University.

Dr. Ryuichi Okayasu and Nakako Nakajima, NIRS, Chiba, Japan

Dr. J. Nickloff, Colorado State University, US.