Patients receiving identical radiation treatments experience different effects, from undetectable to severe, on normal tissues. A crucial factor of radiotherapy related side effects is individual radiosensitivity. It is difficult to spare surrounding normal tissues delivering radiation to cancer cells during radiotherapy. Therefore, it may be useful to develop a simple routine cytogenetic assay which would allow the screening of a large number of individuals for radiosensitivity optimizing tumor control rates and minimizing severe radiotherapy effects with possibility to predict risk level for developing more severe early normal tissue adverse events after irradiation. This study was conducted to assess the correlation between in vitro radiosensitivity of peripheral blood lymphocytes from cancer patients who are undergoing radiotherapy using the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN), G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity assays, and normal tissue acute side effects. The CBMN and G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity assays were performed on blood samples taken from cancer patients before radiotherapy, after first fractionation, and after radiotherapy. Acute normal tissue reactions were graded according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group/European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer. This study suggests that there is a correlation between higher frequency of micronuclei after in vitro irradiation of blood samples and higher degree of normal tissue reactions. In addition, higher number of chromatid breaks was observed in patients with more severe normal tissue reactions. This pilot study included only 5 cancer patients, and therefore, further studies with a bigger cohort are required to identify radiosensitive patients.
Keywords: Cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay; G2 radiosensitivity assay; individual radiosensitivity; radiotherapy.