Chromosomal breaks and abnormal chromosomes were found in the peripheral blood and bone marrow cultures from six persons who were accidentally exposed to total-body irradiation 8 and 10 1/2 yr previously. These type of abnormalities were found in these same patients by Bender and Gooch 2 1/2 yr and 3 1/2 yr after the radiation exposure and by us 7 yr after the accident. The frequencies of the abnormalities remain higher than the normal controls. There is good evidence that there is an increased incidence of cancer and leukemia among populations exposed to radiation. It has been suggested that chromosomal aberrations are involved in the development of some cancer or leukemia in irradiated persons. However, none of our patients has these diseases. It is possible that the development of clinical cancer or leukemia (phenotype) depends not only on the presence of abnormal cells (genotype), but also, on factors that give advantage to these abnormal cells.

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