Radiation-induced Leukaemia in South Africa: Response of lymphocytes and cd34+ cells to different radiation qualities
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Epidemiological studies have highlighted that leukaemia can be considered as the most prominent malignancy after radiation exposure during childhood. The lifetime risk on radiation-induced leukaemia for a given dose is 3 – 5 times higher for children compared to adults. The high risk at a young age is related to the elevated sensitivity of the red bone marrow where haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) are located. HSPCs self-renewal capacity and long-life span increase their susceptibility to DNA damage accumulation, making them a major target of radiation-induced carcinogenesis. Proton beam therapy (PBT) is increasingly used to treat paediatric brain tumours due to its dose sparing properties compared to conventional X-ray based radiotherapy.