Background: The aim of the present study was to compare the biological effectiveness of carbon ions relative to x-rays between tumor control, acute skin reaction and late RIF of CDF1 mice.
Material and methods: CDF1 mice with a C3H mouse mammary carcinoma implanted subcutaneously on the foot of the right hind limb were irradiated with single fractions of either photons, or (12)C ions using a 30-mm spread-out Bragg peak. The endpoint of the study was local control (no tumor recurrence within 90 days). For the acute skin reaction, non-tumor bearing CDF1 mice were irradiated with a comparable radiation scheme, and monitored for acute skin damage between Day 7 and 40. Late RIF was assessed in the irradiated mice.
Results: The TCD50 (dose producing tumor control in 50% of mice) values with 95% confidence interval were 29.7 (25.4-34.8) Gy for C ions and 43.9 (39.2-49.2) Gy for photons, with a corresponding Relative biological effectiveness (RBE) value of 1.48 (1.28-1.72). For acute skin damage the MDD50 (dose to produce moist desquamation in 50% of mice) values with 95% confidence interval were 26.3 (23.0-30.1) Gy for C ions and 35.8 (32.9-39.0) Gy for photons, resulting in a RBE of 1.36 (1.20-1.54). For late radiation-induced fibrosis the FD50 (dose to produce severe fibrosis in 50% of mice) values with 95% confidence interval were 26.5 (23.1-30.3) Gy for carbon ions and 39.8 (37.8-41.8) Gy for photons, with a RBE of 1.50 (1.33-1.69).
Conclusion: The observed RBE values were very similar for tumor response, acute skin damage and late RIF when irradiated with large doses of high- linear energy transfer (LET) carbon ions. This study adds information to the variation in biological effectiveness in different tumor and normal tissue models.