It is well known that exposure to radiation has multiple harmful effects – including causing cancer – but until now, it has been unclear to what extent such exposure increases a person's risk of developing more than one cancer.
The first large-scale study of the relationship between radiation dose and risk of multiple cancers among atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan reveals a similar risk in the development of first and second subsequent cancers.
Christopher I. Li, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center led the study in collaboration with investigators at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the National Cancer Institute. The results appear in the Sept. 15 issue of Cancer Research.
"We found that radiation exposure increased the risks of first and second cancers to a similar degree," said first author Li, a breast cancer epidemiologist and member of the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center. "People exposed to radiation who developed cancer also had a high risk of developing a second cancer, and the risk was similar for both solid tumors and leukemias in both men and women, regardless of age at exposure or duration between first and second primary cancers," he said.
The association between radiation exposure and risk of second cancers was particularly significant for radiation-sensitive cancers, such as those of the lung, colon, breast, thyroid and bladder, as well as leukemia.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data from participants in the Life Span Study, a group of atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki who were followed from 1950, five years after the bombings, to 2002, the most recent year through which Hiroshima and Nagasaki cancer registry data were complete. The study followed 10,031 primary cancer survivors, among whom 1,088 went on to develop second primary cancers.
Stomach, lung, liver and female breast cancers were the most commonly diagnosed first and second primary cancers.
"Our findings suggest that cancer survivors with a history of radiation exposure should continue to be carefully monitored for second cancers," Li said.
In addition to clinical implications for cancer patients and others exposed to significant amounts of radiation, such research is essential to developing radiation protection limits and standards for occupational exposures, as well as planning for the consequences of widespread radiation exposure in the general population in the event of a nuclear accident, nuclear war or "dirty bomb" terrorist attack.
"We greatly appreciate having the opportunity to conduct this unique research with our Japanese colleagues who, through innumerable publications, have truly transformed the tragedy of the atomic bombings to fundamental scientific advancements that have impacted radiation protection standards and policies worldwide," Li said.
The Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Japan is a private, nonprofit foundation funded by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Academy of Sciences. RERF funded this research along with the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. www.fhcrc.org
Kristen Woodward | EurekAlert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences