Gene expression for biodosimetry and effect prediction purposes: promises, pitfalls and future directions–key session ConRad 2021

Patrick Ostheim, Sally A. Amundson, Christophe Badie, Dimitry Bazyka, Angela C. Evans, Shanaz A. Ghandhi, Maria Gomolka, Milagrosa López Riego, Peter K. Rogan, Robert Terbrueggen, Gayle E. Woloschak, Frederic Zenhausern, Hanns L. Kaatsch, Simone Schüle, Reinhard Ullmann, Matthias Port, Michael Abend*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: In a nuclear or radiological event, an early diagnostic or prognostic tool is needed to distinguish unexposed from low- and highly exposed individuals with the latter requiring early and intensive medical care. Radiation-induced gene expression (GE) changes observed within hours and days after irradiation have shown potential to serve as biomarkers for either dose reconstruction (retrospective dosimetry) or the prediction of consecutively occurring acute or chronic health effects. The advantage of GE markers lies in their capability for early (1–3 days after irradiation), high-throughput, and point-of-care (POC) diagnosis required for the prediction of the acute radiation syndrome (ARS). Conclusions: As a key session of the ConRad conference in 2021, experts from different institutions were invited to provide state-of-the-art information on a range of topics including: (1) Biodosimetry: What are the current efforts to enhance the applicability of this method to perform retrospective biodosimetry? (2) Effect prediction: Can we apply radiation-induced GE changes for prediction of acute health effects as an approach, complementary to and integrating retrospective dose estimation? (3) High-throughput and point-of-care diagnostics: What are the current developments to make the GE approach applicable as a high-throughput as well as a POC diagnostic platform? (4) Low level radiation: What is the lowest dose range where GE can be used for biodosimetry purposes? (5) Methodological considerations: Different aspects of radiation-induced GE related to more detailed analysis of exons, transcripts and next-generation sequencing (NGS) were reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-854
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022


  • Gene expression
  • biodosimetry
  • effect prediction
  • high dose
  • low dose
  • radiation exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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