The use of FISH techniques for retrospective biological dosimetry - COD

  • Caballin Fernandez, Rosa (Principal Investigator)
  • Oberlaender, Heinrich (Mr) (Investigator)
  • Salomaa, Sisko (Investigator)
  • Van Grevenstein, Paul (Mr) (Investigator)
  • Wellburn, Janet (Mrs) (Investigator)

Project Details


The dicentric yield in human lymphocytes has been used as a biological indicator of dose. Its limitation is that dicentrics is appear from circulating lymphocytes with time following irradiation. Translocations, being stable should persist with time so that their yield should be relatable to lifetime dose. The use of FISH techniques to measure translocations easily has reopened the possibility of using translocation yield as a retrospective dosemeter. The objectives of this proposal are to produce more data on persistence of translocation yield with time in humans, on control levels and to check whether different laboratories are producing compatible yields. From this information a European view on the utility and limitations of using FISH for biological dosimetry purposes should emerge. One possible confounding factor is that partial body irradiation affects persistence of translocations and this will be investigated further. The measurement of dicentric yield in human lymphocytes has proved to be an effective estimator of dose to individuals. The disadvantage is that dicentric yield decreases with time after exposure and so the method fails when blood samples are taken more than a year or two after exposure. Translocations are more stable and should persist for many years. The ability to paint specific chromosomes (FISH) has opened the possibility of scoring translocations rapidly. This project aims at investigating further the ability that FISH painting can be used for biological dosimetry purposes. The aim of this project is to reach a European consensus on how best to use FISH. Studies on persistence of translocations in humans following accidental exposure, control levels in unexposed individuals and methods of calibration will together lead to a consensus view on the limitations of the technique.
Effective start/end date1/09/0031/08/03

Collaborative partners

  • Institut füer Strahlenhygiene
  • Laboratory of Radiobiology Research and Environmental Surveillance
  • Leiden University (LEI)
  • National Radiological Protection Board (lead)
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)


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