Quantification of DNA double-strand breaks using Geant4-DNA

Konstantinos P. Chatzipapas, Panagiotis Papadimitroulas, Mohammad Obeidat, Kristen A. McConnell, Neil Kirby, George Loudos, Niko Papanikolaou, George C. Kagadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to standardize the simulation procedure in measuring DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), by using advanced Monte Carlo toolkits, and newly introduced experimental methods for DNA DSB measurement. Methods: For the experimental quantification of DNA DSB, an innovative DNA dosimeter was used to produce experimental data. GATE in combination with Geant4-DNA toolkit were exploited to simulate the experimental environment. The PDB4DNA example of Geant4-DNA was upgraded and investigated. Parameters of the simulation such energy threshold (ET) for a strand break and base pair threshold (BPT) for a DSB were evaluated, depending on the dose. Results: Simulations resulted to minimum differentiation in comparison to experimental data for ET = 19 ± 1 eV and BPT = 10 bp, and high differentiation for ET<17.5 eV or ET>22.5 eV and BPT = 10 bp. There was also small differentiation for ET = 17.5 eV and BPT = 6 bp. Uncertainty has been kept lower than 3%. Conclusions: This study includes first results on the quantification of DNA double-strand breaks. The energy spectrum of a LINAC was simulated and used for the first time to irradiate DNA molecules. Simulation outcome was validated on experimental data that were produced by a prototype DNA dosimeter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-413
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA dosimetry
  • DNA double-strand breaks
  • Geant4-DNA
  • Monte Carlo simulations
  • radiobiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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