Earlier in vitro studies of relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of 50-MV X rays show an RBE of approximately 1.1 compared to 4 MV. No difference in RBE has been found for 20-MV X rays or 50-MeV electrons. The higher RBE for 50 MV can be explained to some extent by the small high linear energy transfer contribution from photonuclear reactions at high X-ray energies. To investigate the validity of the results in vitro, a study of the RBE of 50-MV X rays has been performed in vivo using the jejunal crypt microcolony assay in mice. The reference radiation used in this case was 20-MV X rays. The results confirm the earlier in vitro studies. The RBE for 50-MV X rays was estimated to be 1.06, calculated as the ratio between the slopes of the response curves.

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