Energy dependence of the complexity of DNA damage induced by carbon ions

Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2015 Sep;166(1-4):86-90. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncv292. Epub 2015 May 9.


To assess the complexity of DNA damage induced by carbon ions as a function of their energy and LET, 2-Gy irradiations by 100 keV u(-1)-400 MeV u(-1) carbon ions were investigated using the PARTRAC code. The total number of fragments and the yield of fragments of <30 bp were calculated. The authors found a particularly important contribution of DNA fragmentation in the range of <1 kbp for specific energies of <6 MeV u(-1). They also considered the effect of different specific energies with the same LET, i.e. before and after the Bragg peak. As a first step towards a full characterisation of secondary particle production from carbon ions interacting with tissue, a comparison between DNA-damage induction by primary carbon ions and alpha particles resulting from carbon break-up is presented, for specific energies of >1 MeV u(-1).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alpha Particles / adverse effects*
  • Carbon / adverse effects*
  • Computer Simulation
  • DNA Damage / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Linear Energy Transfer / radiation effects*
  • Radiation Dosage


  • Carbon