Int J Radiat Biol. 1997 Nov;72(5):515-21.
Radiation-induced transformation of SV40-immortalized human thyroid epithelial cells by single exposure to plutonium alpha-particles in vitro.
Riches AC1, Herceg Z, Bryant PE, Stevens DL, Goodhead DT.
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Human thyroid carcinomas have been induced following exposure of SV40-immortalized human thyroid epithelial cells in vitro to single doses (0.14 Gy to 1.57 Gy) of 3.26 MeV alpha-particles from a plutonium 238 source. Tumours were detected between 50 and 160 days following subcutaneous transplantation of the irradiated cells in athymic mice. No tumours were observed following transplantation of unirradiated cells. The relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of the alpha-particles, estimated from cell survival curves, was 4.8 at 50% survival and 3.3 at 5% survival. A first estimate of the RBE at peak tumour induction was 3.8. This system provides a means of studying the mechanisms of tumourigenesis in human thyroid epithelial cells induced by ionizing radiations, including tumours induced by single alpha particles such as from environmental natural radon and polonium and artificial plutonium and americium, and those induced by beta- or Auger-emissions from particular iodine isotopes.

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