Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2019. Vol. 64. No. 3. P. 19–31

DOI: 10.12737/article_5cf2306a3b26d6.36140627

A.A. Ivanov1,2,3, T.M. Bichkova1,2, O.V. Nikitenko1,2, I.B. Ushakov1

Radiobiological Proton Effects

1. A.I. Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center, Moscow, Russia. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ;
2. Institute of Biomedical Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia;
3. Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia

A.A. Ivanov – Head of Lab., Dr. Sci. Med., Prof.;
T.M. Bychkova – Junior Researcher;
O.V. Nikitenko – Junior Researcher;
I.B. Ushakov – Chief Researcher, Academician of the RAS, Dr. Sci. Med., Prof.


The article contains an analysis of literature data and the author’s own results on the radiobiological effects of protons at the cellular, systemic (intercellular) and organismic levels, as applied to the practical tasks of radiation therapy of oncological diseases and the protons effects on the astronauts’ organism.

It is established that the proton RBE is a variable value, depending on the LET of the particles, the amount and dose rate, the presence or absence of oxygen. Proton RBE varies depending on the object of study, the type of tissue, proton energy and particle penetration depth, as well as the method for evaluating the biological efficiency of protons. which corresponds to general radiobiology.

In particular, it has been shown that the RBE of protons adopted in radiation therapy at the level of 1.1 is conditional. A firmly established and repeatedly confirmed is an increase in RBE with a decrease in proton energy and, accordingly, an increase in LET.

The use of elements of the physical protection of a spacecraft during exposure to protons with an energy of 170 MeV leads to an increase in LET and RBE of protons in terms of the cellularity of the bone marrow.
Pharmacological agents effective in photon irradiation are also effective when exposed to a proton beam. It has been shown that natural melanin pigment and recombinant manganese superoxide dismutase helps to preserve and accelerate the resumption of blood formation in animals irradiated by protons. The Grippol vaccine increases radioresistance during proton irradiation. Neuropeptide Semax has a positive effect on the central nervous system and the strength of the forepaws of animals irradiated with protons at Bragg’s peak.

Key words: protons, RBE, Bragg peak, central nervous system, hematopoiesis, chromosomal aberrations, survival, radioprotective agents, radiation therapy, space radiation, mice, rat


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For citation: Ivanov AA, Bichkova TM, Nikitenko OV, Ushakov IB. Radiobiological Proton Effects. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2019;64(3):19-31. (Russian).

DOI: 10.12737/article_5cf2306a3b26d6.36140627

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