Purpose: To evaluate the cytogenetic damage induced by radiotherapy, the effect of concomitant amifostine and the persistence of translocations and dicentrics after the treatment. Materials and methods: Blood samples from 16 head and neck cancer patients were obtained at different times, just before treatment, at the 1st and 22nd sessions, at the end of radiotherapy, and one, four and 12 months later. Solid stain and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques were applied to analyse chromosome aberrations. Results: In all the analysis the frequencies of dicentrics plus rings were slightly lower in the group of patients receiving concomitant amifostine, but in each sampling point the differences were not significant. The persistence of translocations and dicentrics one year after radiotherapy was very similar, with a decline of more than 50%. For all the chromosome aberrations considered, a negative correlation between their initial yield and the percentage of this yield remained 12 months after radiotherapy was observed (p < 0.05). Conclusion: No significant protection by amifostine against radiation-induced chromosome damage was observed in head and neck cancer patients treated only with radiotherapy. In these cases, the persistence of translocations and dicentrics during the first year after radiotherapy is similar and related to their initial yield. © 2008 Informa UK Ltd.
- Persistence of chromosome aberrations