Radiosensitivity detected by the micronucleus test is not generally increased in sporadic prostate cancer patients.
The micronucleus test (MNT) has shown increased micronuclei (MN) frequencies in BRCA associated and sporadic breast cancer patients, Ataxia telangiectasia and Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome patients, demonstrating a common cellular phenotype of increased radiosensitivity. Some genes, causative of these diseases, have also recently been associated with prostate cancer. In order to investigate if prostate cancer exhibits the cellular phenotype of increased radiosensitivity, we performed MNT analysis on 22 sporadic prostate cancer patients and 43 male controls. We determined the baseline MN frequency, in order to see in vivo chromosomal damage without radiation, and induced (after irradiation with 2 Gy) frequency of MN, both in binucleated cells (BNC) obtained from cultured peripheral blood lymphocytes. An automated image analysis system was used to score the MN employing two different classifiers (Classifier A and B) for detection of BNC. The mean baseline frequencies were 48/43 MN/1000 BNC (A/B) for the controls and 42/50 (A/B) for prostate cancer patients. The induced MN frequencies amounted to 107/111 MN/1000 BNC (A/B) for controls and 111/114 MN/1000 BNC (A/B) for prostate cancer patients. The obtained MN frequencies did not result in a statistically significant difference between unselected cases and controls. However, restricting the analysis to young patients (50-60 years, N = 7) and age-matched controls (N = 7) revealed marginally significant higher MN frequencies in patients. We conclude that increased radiosensitivity is not a property of prostate cancer patients in general.