Variations in sensitivity to radiation-induced mammary cancer among different strains of mice are well known. However, the reasons for these variations have not been determined. In the present study, the cell dissociation assay was used to determine the radiation-induced transformation frequencies in sensitive BALB/c mice and resistant C57BL mice as well as the resistant hybrid <tex-math>${\rm B}6{\rm CF}_{1}$</tex-math> independent of host environment. The influence of host environment on the progression of transformed cells to the neoplastic phenotype was also examined. Results demonstrated that the variations in sensitivity among these sensitive and resistant mice are a result of inherent differences in the sensitivity of the mammary epithelial cells to radiation-induced transformation. Under the conditions used, host environment played no role in the initiation of transformed cells by radiation or in the progression of these cells to the neoplastic phenotype.

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