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Special Issue "Radiation and Cancer Risk"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Joachim Schüz

Head, Section of Environment and Radiation, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon Cedex 08, France
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +33 (0)4 72 73 83 20
Interests: environment; radiation and cancer

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ionizing radiation is a known cause of cancer. Exposure arises from natural sources such as cosmic, gamma, internal radiation or radon, as well as from artificial sources such as medical radiation received for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes and environmental and occupational exposures. Indoor radon is the major natural source and, while being an established cause of lung cancer, some uncertainty remains for its role in other cancers like childhood leukemia. Keeping in mind the clear benefits of ionizing radiation for medical purposes, unnecessary exposures should be avoided; with the increase in the use of for instance computer tomography this becomes a topical issue. Indeed diagnostic radiation has recently been estimated to cause approximately 2% of cancers in developed countries. Further, with a growing population of cancer survivors, many of whom were treated with radiotherapy, radiation-induced secondary malignancies are an increasing concern. As for optical radiation, exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or from artificial sources poses a major risk for skin cancer. Non-ionising radiation, on the other hand, is suspected to increase the risk of certain cancers, but the epidemiological data are so far inconsistent and there are at present no convincing hypotheses concerning the biological mechanisms for a causal association with cancer. This range of the radiation spectrum includes radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, e.g. during cell phone use, and extremely low frequency magnetic fields such as from high-voltage power lines and other electric installations.

Given the ubiquity of radiation exposure and the uncertainty in cancer risk associated with low dose ionizing radiation and with non-ionizing radiation, this special issue aims at encouraging reviews and recent original results for a better understanding of cancers attributable to radiation exposure, with a view to improve action for cancer prevention. Review articles summarizing the current state of knowledge and its uncertainties, with suggestions for the research agenda in radiation research, are particularly encouraged. Equally, I welcome articles from under-researched areas of the world, including those describing radiation sources and their potential impact on the local cancer burden.

I look forward to receiving your innovative contributions that will combine in a special issue to give a broad overview of our knowledge on radiation and cancer risk.

Dr. Joachim Schüz
Guest Editor

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Lack of Genomic Instability in Bone Marrow Cells of SCID Mice Exposed Whole-Body to Low-Dose Radiation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1356-1377; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041356
Received: 27 January 2013 / Revised: 5 March 2013 / Accepted: 12 March 2013 / Published: 2 April 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is clear that high-dose radiation is harmful. However, despite extensive research, assessment of potential health-risks associated with exposure to low-dose radiation (at doses below or equal to 0.1 Gy) is still challenging. Recently, we reported that 0.05 Gy of 137Cs gamma
[...] Read more.
It is clear that high-dose radiation is harmful. However, despite extensive research, assessment of potential health-risks associated with exposure to low-dose radiation (at doses below or equal to 0.1 Gy) is still challenging. Recently, we reported that 0.05 Gy of 137Cs gamma rays (the existing limit for radiation-exposure in the workplace) was incapable of inducing significant in vivo genomic instability (measured by the presence of late-occurring chromosomal damage at 6 months post-irradiation) in bone marrow (BM) cells of two mouse strains, one with constitutively high and one with intermediate levels of the repair enzyme DNA-dependent protein-kinase catalytic-subunit (DNA-PKcs). In this study, we present evidence for a lack of genomic instability in BM cells of the severely combined-immunodeficiency (SCID/J) mouse (which has an extremely low-level of DNA-PKcs activity) exposed whole-body to low-dose radiation (0.05 Gy). Together with our previous report, the data indicate that low-dose radiation (0.05 Gy) is incapable of inducing genomic instability in vivo (regardless of the levels of DNA-PKcs activity of the exposed mice), yet higher doses of radiation (0.1 and 1 Gy) do induce genomic instability in mice with intermediate and extremely low-levels of DNA-PKcs activity (indicating an important role of DNA-PKcs in DNA repair). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)
Open AccessArticle Lung Cancer Risk from Occupational and Environmental Radon and Role of Smoking in Two Czech Nested Case-Control Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 963-979; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030963
Received: 5 January 2013 / Revised: 16 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 7 March 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (380 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the risk of lung cancer from combined exposure to radon and smoking. Methodologically, it is based on case-control studies nested within two Czech cohort studies of nearly 11,000 miners followed-up for mortality in 1952–2010
[...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the risk of lung cancer from combined exposure to radon and smoking. Methodologically, it is based on case-control studies nested within two Czech cohort studies of nearly 11,000 miners followed-up for mortality in 1952–2010 and nearly 12,000 inhabitants exposed to high levels of radon in homes, with mortality follow-up in 1960–2010. In addition to recorded radon exposure, these studies use information on smoking collected from the subjects or their relatives. A total of 1,029 and 370 cases with smoking information have been observed in the occupational and environmental (residential) studies, respectively. Three or four control subjects have been individually matched to cases according to sex, year of birth, and age. The combined effect from radon and smoking is analyzed in terms of geometric mixture models of which the additive and multiplicative models are special cases. The resulting models are relatively close to the additive interaction (mixing parameter 0.2 and 0.3 in the occupational and residential studies, respectively). The impact of the resulting model in the residential radon study is illustrated by estimates of lifetime risk in hypothetical populations of smokers and non-smokers. In comparison to the multiplicative risk model, the lifetime risk from the best geometric mixture model is considerably higher, particularly in the non-smoking population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)
Open AccessArticle Cancer Risk in Diagnostic Radiation Workers in Korea from 1996–2002
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 314-327; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010314
Received: 6 October 2012 / Revised: 5 January 2013 / Accepted: 8 January 2013 / Published: 14 January 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was aimed to examine the association between the effective radiation dose of diagnostic radiation workers in Korea and their risk for cancer. A total of 36,394 diagnostic radiation workers (159,189 person-years) were included in this study; the effective dose and cancer
[...] Read more.
This study was aimed to examine the association between the effective radiation dose of diagnostic radiation workers in Korea and their risk for cancer. A total of 36,394 diagnostic radiation workers (159,189 person-years) were included in this study; the effective dose and cancer incidence were analyzed between the period 1996 and 2002. Median (range) follow-up time was 5.5 (0.04–7) years in males and 3.75 (0.04–7) years in females. Cancer risk related to the average annual effective dose and exposure to more than 5 mSv of annual radiation dose were calculated by the Cox proportional hazard model adjusted for occupation and age at the last follow-up. The standardized incidence ratio of cancer in radiation workers showed strong healthy worker effects in both male and female workers. The relative risk of all cancers from exposure of the average annual effective dose in the highest quartile (upper 75% or more of radiation dose) was 2.14 in male workers (95% CI: 1.48–3.10, p-trend: <0.0001) and 4.43 in female workers (95% CI: 2.17–9.04, p-trend: <0.0001), compared to those in the lower three quartiles of radiation exposure dose (less than upper 75% of radiation dose). Cancer risks of the brain (HR: 17.38, 95% CI: 1.05–287.8, p-trend: 0.04) and thyroid (HR: 3.88, 95% CI: 1.09–13.75, p-trend: 0.01) in female workers were significantly higher in the highest quartile group of radiation exposure compared to those in the lower three quartiles, and the risk of colon and rectum cancers in male workers showed a significantly increasing trend according to the increase of the average annual radiation dose (HR: 2.37, 95% CI: 0.99–5.67, p-trend: 0.02). The relative risk of leukemia in male workers and that of brain cancer in female workers were significantly higher in the group of people who had been exposed to more than 5 mSv/year than those exposed to less than 5 mSv/year (HR: 11.75, 95% CI: 1.08–128.20; HR: 63.11, 95% CI: 3.70–1,075.00, respectively). Although the present study involved a relatively young population and a short follow-up time, statistically significant increased risks of some cancers in radiation workers were found, which warrants a longer follow-up study and more intensive protective measures in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Radiation and Dose-Fractionation on Cancer and Non-Tumor Disease Development
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4688-4703; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124688
Received: 10 October 2012 / Revised: 7 December 2012 / Accepted: 10 December 2012 / Published: 18 December 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Janus series of radiation experiments, conducted from 1970 to 1992, explored the effects of gamma and neutron radiation on animal lifespan and disease development. Data from these experiments presents an opportunity to conduct a large scale analysis of both tumor and non-tumor
[...] Read more.
The Janus series of radiation experiments, conducted from 1970 to 1992, explored the effects of gamma and neutron radiation on animal lifespan and disease development. Data from these experiments presents an opportunity to conduct a large scale analysis of both tumor and non-tumor disease development. This work was focused on a subset of animals from the Janus series of experiments, comparing acute or fractionated exposures of gamma or neutron radiation on the hazards associated with the development of tumor and non-tumor diseases of the liver, lung, kidney or vascular system. This study also examines how the co-occurrence of non-tumor diseases may affect tumor-associated hazards. While exposure to radiation increases the hazard of dying with tumor and non-tumor diseases, dose fractionation modulates these hazards, which varies across different organ systems. Finally, the effect that concurrent non-cancer diseases have on the hazard of dying with a tumor also differs by organ system. These results highlight the complexity in the effects of radiation on the liver, lung, kidney and vascular system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)
Open AccessArticle Integral Dose and Radiation-Induced Secondary Malignancies: Comparison between Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy and Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4223-4240; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114223
Received: 28 August 2012 / Revised: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 19 October 2012 / Published: 19 November 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the present paper is to compare the integral dose received by non-tumor tissue (NTID) in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with modified LINAC with that received by three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), estimating possible correlations between NTID and radiation-induced secondary malignancy
[...] Read more.
The aim of the present paper is to compare the integral dose received by non-tumor tissue (NTID) in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with modified LINAC with that received by three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), estimating possible correlations between NTID and radiation-induced secondary malignancy risk. Eight patients with intrathoracic lesions were treated with SBRT, 23 Gy × 1 fraction. All patients were then replanned for 3D-CRT, maintaining the same target coverage and applying a dose scheme of 2 Gy × 32 fractions. The dose equivalence between the different treatment modalities was achieved assuming α/β = 10Gy for tumor tissue and imposing the same biological effective dose (BED) on the target (BED = 76Gy10). Total NTIDs for both techniques was calculated considering α/β = 3Gy for healthy tissue. Excess absolute cancer risk (EAR) was calculated for various organs using a mechanistic model that includes fractionation effects. A paired two-tailed Student t-test was performed to determine statistically significant differences between the data (p ≤ 0.05). Our study indicates that despite the fact that for all patients integral dose is higher for SBRT treatments than 3D-CRT (p = 0.002), secondary cancer risk associated to SBRT patients is significantly smaller than that calculated for 3D-CRT (p = 0.001). This suggests that integral dose is not a good estimator for quantifying cancer induction. Indeed, for the model and parameters used, hypofractionated radiotherapy has the potential for secondary cancer reduction. The development of reliable secondary cancer risk models seems to be a key issue in fractionated radiotherapy. Further assessments of integral doses received with 3D-CRT and other special techniques are also strongly encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)
Open AccessArticle Radioactive Iodide (131I) Excretion Profiles in Response to Potassium Iodide (KI) and Ammonium Perchlorate (NH4ClO4) Prophylaxis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(8), 2936-2948; doi:10.3390/ijerph9082936
Received: 21 June 2012 / Revised: 12 July 2012 / Accepted: 9 August 2012 / Published: 16 August 2012
PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Radioactive iodide (131I) protection studies have focused primarily on the thyroid gland and disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. The objective of the current study was to establish 131I urinary excretion profiles for saline, and the thyroid protectants,
[...] Read more.
Radioactive iodide (131I) protection studies have focused primarily on the thyroid gland and disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. The objective of the current study was to establish 131I urinary excretion profiles for saline, and the thyroid protectants, potassium iodide (KI) and ammonium perchlorate over a 75 hour time-course. Rats were administered 131I and 3 hours later dosed with either saline, 30 mg/kg of NH4ClO4 or 30 mg/kg of KI. Urinalysis of the first 36 hours of the time-course revealed that NH4ClO4 treated animals excreted significantly more 131I compared with KI and saline treatments. A second study followed the same protocol, but thyroxine (T4) was administered daily over a 3 day period. During the first 6–12 hour after 131I dosing, rats administered NH4ClO4 excreted significantly more 131I than the other treatment groups. T4 treatment resulted in increased retention of radioiodide in the thyroid gland 75 hour after 131I administration. We speculate that the T4 treatment related reduction in serum TSH caused a decrease synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormones resulting in greater residual radioiodide in the thyroid gland. Our findings suggest that ammonium perchlorate treatment accelerates the elimination rate of radioiodide within the first 24 to 36 hours and thus may be more effective at reducing harmful exposure to 131I compared to KI treatment for repeated dosing situations. Repeated dosing studies are needed to compare the effectiveness of these treatments to reduce the radioactive iodide burden of the thyroid gland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Mouse Models for Efficacy Testing of Agents against Radiation Carcinogenesis — A Literature Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 107-143; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010107
Received: 6 October 2012 / Revised: 26 November 2012 / Accepted: 11 December 2012 / Published: 27 December 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the number of cancer survivors treated with radiation as a part of their therapy regimen is constantly increasing, so is concern about radiation-induced cancers. This increases the need for therapeutic and mitigating agents against secondary neoplasias. Development and efficacy testing of these
[...] Read more.
As the number of cancer survivors treated with radiation as a part of their therapy regimen is constantly increasing, so is concern about radiation-induced cancers. This increases the need for therapeutic and mitigating agents against secondary neoplasias. Development and efficacy testing of these agents requires not only extensive in vitro assessment, but also a set of reliable animal models of radiation-induced carcinogenesis. The laboratory mouse (Mus musculus) remains one of the best animal model systems for cancer research due to its molecular and physiological similarities to man, small size, ease of breeding in captivity and a fully sequenced genome. This work reviews relevant M. musculus inbred and F1 hybrid animal models and methodologies of induction of radiation-induced leukemia, thymic lymphoma, breast, and lung cancer in these models. Where available, the associated molecular pathologies are also included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)
Open AccessReview Second Malignant Neoplasms Following Radiotherapy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4744-4759; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124744
Received: 10 October 2012 / Revised: 6 December 2012 / Accepted: 6 December 2012 / Published: 18 December 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1085 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
More than half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy as a part of their treatment. With the increasing number of long-term cancer survivors, there is a growing concern about the risk of radiation induced second malignant neoplasm [SMN]. This risk appears to be
[...] Read more.
More than half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy as a part of their treatment. With the increasing number of long-term cancer survivors, there is a growing concern about the risk of radiation induced second malignant neoplasm [SMN]. This risk appears to be highest for survivors of childhood cancers. The exact mechanism and dose-response relationship for radiation induced malignancy is not well understood, however, there have been growing efforts to develop strategies for the prevention and mitigation of radiation induced cancers. This review article focuses on the incidence, etiology, and risk factors for SMN in various organs after radiotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation and Cancer Risk)

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