Strahlentherapie und Onkologie

, Volume 187, Issue 1, pp 52–58 | Cite as

Comparison of the Micronucleus and Chromosome Aberration Techniques for the Documentationof Cytogenetic Damage in Radiochemotherapy-Treated Patients with Rectal Cancer

  • Hendrik Andreas Wolff*
  • Steffen Hennies
  • Markus Karl Alfred Herrmann
  • Margret Rave-Fränk
  • David Eickelmann
  • Patricia Virsik
  • Klaus Jung
  • Markus Schirmer
  • Michael Ghadimi
  • Clemens Friedrich Hess
  • Robert Michael Hermann
  • Hans ChristiansenEmail author
Original Article



The goal of the interdisciplinary Clinical Research Unit KFO179 (Biological Basis of Individual Tumor Response in Patients with Rectal Cancer) is to develop an individual Response and Toxicity Score for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer treated with neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy. The aim of the present study was to find a reliable and sensitive method with easy scoring criteria and high numbers of cell counts in a short period of time in order to analyze DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes. Thus, the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay and the chromosome aberration technique (CAT) were tested.

Materials and Methods:

Peripheral blood lymphocytes obtained from 22 patients with rectal cancer before (0 Gy), during (21.6 Gy), and after (50.4 Gy) radiochemotherapy were stimulated in vitro by phytohemagglutinin (PHA); the cultures were then processed for the CBMN assay and the CAT to compare the two methods.


A significant increase of chromosomal damage was observed in the course of radiochemotherapy parallel to increasing radiation doses, but independent of the chemotherapy applied. The equivalence of both methods was shown by Westlake’s equivalence test.


The results show that the CBMN assay and the CAT are equivalent. For further investigations, we prefer the CBMN assay, because it is simpler through easy scoring criteria, allows high numbers of cell counts in less time, is reliable, sensitive, and has higher statistical power. In the future, we plan to integrate cytogenetic damage during radiochemotherapy into the planned Response and Toxicity Score within our interdisciplinary Clinical Research Unit.

Key Words

Rectal cancer Neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy Micronuclei Chromosome aberration technique Lymphocytes 

Vergleich von Mikronukleus- und Chromosomenaberrationstechnik für die Dokumentation zytogenetischer Schäden bei neoadjuvant radiochemotherapierten Patienten mit Rektumkarzinom



Ziel der interdisziplinären Klinischen Forschergruppe KFO179 (Biological Basis of Individual Tumor Response in Patients with Rectal Cancer) ist es, einen individuellen Response-/Toxizitätsscore für Patienten zu entwickeln, die bei diagnostiziertem lokal fortgeschrittenem Rektumkarzinom mit neoadjuvanter Radiochemotherapie behandelt werden. Ziel der vorliegenden Arbeit war, eine einfache und zuverlässige Methode zur Detektion des individuellen zytogenetischen Schadens durch die Radiochemotherapie herauszuarbeiten, die im weiteren Verlauf der Arbeit der Forschergruppe Anwendung finden soll. Wir verglichen dabei den Mikronukleustest (MN) mit der Chromosomenaberrationsanalyse (CAA).

Patienten und Methodik:

Periphere Blutlymphozyten von 22 Patienten wurden vor (0 Gy), während (21,6 Gy) und nach (50,4 Gy) Radiochemotherapie untersucht. Der zytogenetische Schaden wurde mittels MN und CAA analysiert und die Äquivalenz beider Methoden geprüft.


Eine signifikante Zunahme chromosomaler Schädigungen durch die Bestrahlung in Abhängigkeit von der applizierten Dosis konnte bei beiden Techniken, unabhängig von der applizierten Chemotherapie, beobachtet werden. Die Gleichwertigkeit beider Methoden konnte durch den Äquivalenztest nach Westlake gezeigt werden.


Es zeigte sich eine Äquivalenz der angewandten Methoden, was uns nun die Möglichkeit bietet, den MN gleichwertig gegenüber der CAA anzuwenden und für die geplanten Analysen bezüglich des individuellen Response-/Toxizitätsscores zu verwenden. Die Mikronukleustechnik ermöglicht durch leichtere Zählkriterien in kürzerer Zeit eine größere Anzahl von Zellen zu zählen, was zu einem valideren statistischen Endergebnis führt.


Rektumkarzinom Neoadjuvante Radiochemotherapie Mikronuklei Chromosomaberrationstechnik Lymphozyten 


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Copyright information

© Urban & Vogel, Muenchen 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hendrik Andreas Wolff*
    • 1
  • Steffen Hennies
    • 1
  • Markus Karl Alfred Herrmann
    • 1
  • Margret Rave-Fränk
    • 1
  • David Eickelmann
    • 1
  • Patricia Virsik
    • 2
  • Klaus Jung
    • 3
  • Markus Schirmer
    • 4
  • Michael Ghadimi
    • 5
  • Clemens Friedrich Hess
    • 1
  • Robert Michael Hermann
    • 1
    • 6
  • Hans Christiansen
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Radiotherapy and RadiooncologyUniversity Medicine GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Hygiene and Environmental MedicineUniversity Medicine GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Medical StatisticsUniversity Medicine GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Clinical PharmacologyUniversity Medicine GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryUniversity Medicine GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  6. 6.Department of Radiotherapy and RadiooncologyÄrztehaus an der AmmerlandklinikWesterstedeGermany
  7. 7.Department of Radiotherapy and RadiooncologyUniversity Medicine GoettingenGöttingenGermany

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