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The effects of the charged ion species 4He, 12C and 20Ne on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) T98G, U87 and LN18 cell lines were compared with the effects of 200 kVp X-rays (1.7 keV/μm). These cell lines have different genetic profiles. Individual GBM relative biological effectiveness (RBE) was estimated in two ways: the RBE10 at 10% survival fraction and the RBE2Gy after 2 Gy doses. The linear quadratic model radiosensitivity parameters α and β and the α/β ratio of each ion type were determined as a function of LET. Mono-energetic 4He, 12C and 20Ne ions were generated by the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba, Japan. Colony-formation assays were used to evaluate the survival fractions. The LET of the various ions used ranged from 2.3 to 100 keV/μm (covering the depth-dose plateau region to clinically relevant LET at the Bragg peak). For U87 and LN18, the RBE10 increased with LET and peaked at 85 keV/μm, whereas T98G peaked at 100 keV/μm. All three GBM α parameters peaked at 100 keV/μm. There is a statistically significant difference between the three GBM RBE10 values, except at 100 keV/μm (P < 0.01), and a statistically significant difference between the α values of the GBM cell lines, except at 85 and 100 keV/μm. The biological response varied depending on the GBM cell lines and on the ions used.

Original publication




Journal article


J Radiat Res

Publication Date





178 - 188


12C ions, 20Ne ions, 4He ions, GBM, LET