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Volume 20, Number 4, 2015

The effect of radiotherapy and chemotherapy on osmotic fragility of red blood cells and plasma levels of malondialdehyde in patients with breast cancer

Ali Reza Khoshbin, Fahimeh Mohamadabadi, Fatemeh Vafaeian, Adel Babania, Saeideh Akbarian, Reza Khandozi, Mohamad Ali Sadrebazaz, Ehsan Hatami, Hamid Reza Joshaghani



Gamma radiation effects on the erythrocyte membrane from three different functional parts, lipid bilayer, cytoskeleton and protein components. When the red cell membrane is exposed to radiation, it loses its integrity and hemoglobin leaks out. In addition, irradiation leads to lipid peroxidation and the products of this process, leading to hemolysis. The aim of the present study was to measure osmotic fragility (OF) of red blood cells and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels as a marker of oxidative injury in breast cancer patients treated with radiation and chemotherapy.

Materials and Methods

The OF test was performed using different concentrations of a salt solution. The measurement of MDA was done with chemical methods.11 The sampling was taken during three stages of treatment: first sample was taken before starting chemotherapy, the second sample was taken before radiation therapy and the third sample was taken after radiotherapy.


No statistically significant differences between levels of MDA in these three stages of treatment were observed. However, the comparison of mean levels of MDA showed an increase after radiotherapy. The OF rate did not show significant difference (P > 0.05) during the stages of treatment.


In a standard treatment program of radiotherapy and chemotherapy lipid peroxidation level and OF do not significantly increase.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2015; 20(4) : 305-308

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