Estimates of cancer risks posed to space-flight crews by exposure to high atomic number, high-energy (HZE) ions are subject to considerable uncertainty because epidemiological data do not exist for human populations exposed to similar radiation qualities. We assessed the leukemogenic efficacy of one such HZE species, 1 GeV 56Fe ions, a component of space radiation, in a mouse model for radiation-induced acute myeloid leukemia. CBA/CaJ mice were irradiated with 1 GeV/nucleon 56Fe ions or 137Cs γ rays and followed until they were moribund or to 800 days of age. We found that 1 GeV/nucleon 56Fe ions do not appear to be substantially more effective than γ rays for the induction of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, 56Fe-ion-irradiated mice had a much higher incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) than γ-irradiated mice, with an estimated RBE of approximately 50. These data suggest a difference in the effects of HZE iron ions on the induction of leukemia compared to solid tumors, suggesting potentially different mechanisms of tumorigenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging