[ RadSafe ] Radiation exposure poses similar risk of first and second cancers in atomic bomb survivors

McClung, Danny Danny.McClung2 at va.gov
Wed Sep 15 08:41:20 CDT 2010

Not surprising that about 10% of survivors might develop a second
malignancy.  They were more susceptible in the first place.

It is also interesting to me that they find the study results useful in
the event of a radiological terrorist attack.  Those terrorists had
better have some real good lawyers!

Danny K. McClung, BS, RRPT
Health Physics Consultant
Department of Veterans Affairs

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of ROY HERREN
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:45 AM
To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Radiation exposure poses similar risk of first
andsecond cancers in atomic bomb survivors

Public release date: 15-Sep-2010
Contact: Kristen Woodward
kwoodwar at fhcrc.org
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 

Radiation exposure poses similar risk of first and second cancers in
atomic bomb 
First large-scale study to assess how radiation influences risk of
SEATTLE - It is well known that exposure to radiation has multiple
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
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

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
Cancer Institute. The results appear in the Sept. 15 issue of Cancer
"We found that radiation exposure increased the risks of first and
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
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
followed from 1950, five years after the bombings, to 2002, the most
recent year 
through which Hiroshima and Nagasaki cancer registry data were complete.
study followed 10,031 primary cancer survivors, among whom 1,088 went on
develop second primary cancers.
Stomach, lung, liver and female breast cancers were the most commonly
first and second primary cancers.
"Our findings suggest that cancer survivors with a history of radiation
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
radiation protection limits and standards for occupational exposures, as
well as 
planning for the consequences of widespread radiation exposure in the
population in the event of a nuclear accident, nuclear war or "dirty
terrorist attack.
"We greatly appreciate having the opportunity to conduct this unique
with our Japanese colleagues who, through innumerable publications, have
transformed the tragedy of the atomic bombings to fundamental scientific

advancements that have impacted radiation protection standards and
worldwide," Li said.
The Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Japan is a private, 
nonprofit foundation funded by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour
Welfare and the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Academy
Sciences. RERF funded this research along with the National Cancer
Institute and 
the National Institutes of Health Division of Cancer Epidemiology and
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams
world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent,
and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers,
including three 
Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health,
and hope to their work and to the world. www.fhcrc.org


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