The repair of radiation-induced DNA damage is a key factor differentiating patients in terms of the therapeutic efficacy and toxicity to surrounding normal tissue. Proton energy substantially determines the types of cancers that can be treated. The present work investigated the DNA double-strand break repair systems, represented by phosphorylated ATM and Rad51. The status of proton therapy energy used to treat major types of cancer is summarized. Here, human lymphocytes from eight healthy donors (male and female) were irradiated with a spread-out Bragg peak using a therapeutic 70 MeV proton beam or with reference X rays. For both types of radiation, the kinetics of pATM and Rad51 repair protein activation (0–24 h) were estimated as determinants of homologous and non-homologous double-strand break repair. Additionally, γ-H2AX was used as the gold standard marker of double-strand breaks. Our results showed that at 30 min postirradiation there was significantly greater accumulation of γ-H2AX (0.6-fold), pATM (2.0-fold), and Rad51 (0.6-fold) in the proton-irradiated cells compared with the X-ray-treated cells. At 24 h post irradiation, for both types of radiation and all investigated proteins, the foci number was still significantly higher when compared with control. Furthermore, the mean value of pATM and Rad51 repair effectiveness was higher in cells exposed to protons than in cells exposed to X rays; however, the difference was significant only for pATM. The largest inter-individual differences in the repair capabilities were noted for Rad51. The association between the frequency of repair protein foci and the frequency of lymphocyte viability at 1 h post irradiation showed a positive correlation for protons but a negative correlation for X rays. These findings indicate that the accumulation of radiation-induced repair protein foci after proton versus X-ray irradiation differs between patients, consequently affecting the cellular responses to particle therapy and conventional radiation therapy.
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Vol. 197 • No. 4