Lung cancer progression using fast switching multiple ion beam radiation and countermeasure prevention

Krishna Luitel, Sang Bum Kim, Summer Barron, James A. Richardson, Jerry W. Shay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Most of the research in understanding space radiation-induced cancer progression and risk assessment has been performed using mono-energetic single-ion beams. However, the space radiation environment consists of a wide variety of ion species with a various range of energies. Using the fast beam switching technology developed at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), ion species can be switched rapidly allowing investigators to use multiple ions with different energies to simulate more closely the radiation environment found in space. Here, we exposed a lung cancer susceptible mouse model (K-rasLA-1) to three sequential ion beams: Proton (H) (120 MeV/n) 20 cGy, Helium (He) (250 MeV/n) 5.0 cGy, and Silicon (Si) (300 MeV/n) 5.0 cGy with a dose rate of 0.5 cGy/min. Using three ion beams we performed whole body irradiation with a total dose of 30 cGy in two different orders: 3B-1 (H→He→Si) and 3B-2 (Si→He→H) and used 30 cGy H single-ion beam as a reference. In this study we show that whole-body irradiation with H→He→Si increases the incidence of premalignant lesions and systemic oxidative stress in mice 100 days post-irradiation more than (Si→He→H) and H only irradiation. Additionally, we observed an increase in adenomas with atypia and adenocarcinomas in H→He→Si irradiated mice but not in (Si→He→H) or H (30 cGy) only irradiated mice. When we used the H→He→Si irradiation sequence but skipped a day before exposing the mice to Si, we did not observe the increased incidence of cancer initiation and progression. We also found that a non-toxic anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative radioprotector (CDDO-EA) reduced H→He→Si induced oxidative stress and cancer initiation almost back to baseline. Thus, exposure to H→He→Si elicits significant changes in lung cancer initiation that can be mitigated using CDDO-EA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalLife Sciences in Space Research
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • GCR simulation
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Multiple Ions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Ecology
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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