Cytogenetic and molecular changes in leukemia among atomic bomb survivors

J Radiat Res. 1991 Dec:32 Suppl 2:257-65. doi: 10.1269/jrr.32.supplement2_257.


Seventy five radiation-related leukemia patients in Hiroshima including 16 patients exposed to more than one Gray were cytogenetically examined. Statistical analysis of data on the frequencies of chromosomal aberrations in the survivor groups according to bone marrow doses by DS86 estimation revealed that the heavily exposed group tended to have significantly higher aberration rates compared to the non-exposed group. Furthermore, the chromosomal aberrations in the survivors were observed to be of a more complex nature and had the characteristic findings of secondary leukemia. These observations therefore suggest that patients with a history of heavy exposure to atomic bomb radiation had leukemic cells originating from a stem cell which had been damaged by irradiation at the time of the bombing as well as cells involved in complex chromosome abnormalities. Molecular biologic studies on ras genes in acute and chronic leukemias and the bcr gene in chronic myelocytic leukemia were performed in exposed and non-exposed groups. So far, no distinctive differences have been observed in the frequency and sites of point mutations in N- and K-ras genes or in the rearrangement of the bcr gene. Further, retrospective analysis using DNA from leukemia patients who developed this disease in the early period from atomic bomb radiation exposure would be useful for the elucidation of the mechanisms of radiation-induced leukemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Female
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl / genetics
  • Genes, ras
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Radiation-Induced / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Warfare*


  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl