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!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Life Sciences
17.08.2017 | Materials Sciences