Thyroid carcinomas of an additional series of 34 children exposed to radioactive fall-out after the Chernobyl reactor accident were analysed for mutations in the H-, K- and N-RAS and the p53 gene. Allele-specific oligonucleotide hybridization, single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and direct sequencing did not disclose mutations in codons 12, 13 and 61 of RAS genes nor mutations in exons 5, 7 and 8 of p53. Considering the recently reported high prevalence of RET rearrangements of the PTC3 type in childhood tumours after Chernobyl (Klugbauer et al, 1995, Oncogene 11: 2459-2467), it follows that RET rearrangements are the most relevant molecular aberration in these radiation-induced tumours. RAS or p53 mutations do not play a role in childhood thyroid carcinogenesis after Chernobyl.
Quantitative analysis of threshold limit levels of UV-irradiation in the workroom environment established in USA, Netherlands and Russia was made. Comparison of its results with modern information about effective doses and action spectra of UV-radiation biological action allowed to reveal essential differences in the approach to rate setting and in some cases presence of internal contradictions and exceeding of threshold limit levels of UV irradiation above biologically effective values. The possibility of workroom UV standards utilisation for regulation of nature UV-radiation exposures was considered.
BACKGROUND: The risk of contralateral breast cancer is increased twofold to fivefold for breast cancer patients. A registry-based cohort study in Denmark suggested that radiation treatment of the first breast cancer might increase the risk for contralateral breast cancer among 10-year survivors. PURPOSE: Our goal was to assess the role of radiation in the development of contralateral breast cancer. METHODS: A nested case-control study was conducted in a cohort of 56,540 women in Denmark diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from 1943 through 1978. Case patients were 529 women who developed contralateral breast cancer 8 or more years after first diagnosis. Controls were women with breast cancer who did not develop contralateral breast cancer. One control was matched to each case patient on the basis of age, calendar year of initial breast cancer diagnosis, and survival time. Radiation dose to the contralateral breast was estimated for each patient on the basis of radiation measurements and abstracted treatment information. The anatomical position of each breast cancer was also abstracted from medical records. RESULTS: Radiotherapy had been administered to 82.4% of case patients and controls, and the mean radiation dose to the contralateral breast was estimated to be 2.51 Gy. Radiotherapy did not increase the overall risk of contralateral breast cancer (relative risk = 1.04; 95% confidence interval = 0.74-1.46), and there was no evidence that risk varied with radiation dose, time since exposure, or age at exposure. The second tumors in case patients were evenly distributed in the medial, lateral, and central portions of the breast, a finding that argues against a causal role of radiotherapy in tumorigenesis. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of women in our series were perimenopausal or postmenopausal (53% total versus 38% premenopausal and 9% of unknown status) and received radiotherapy at an age when the breast tissue appears least susceptible to the carcinogenic effects of radiation. Based on a dose of 2.51 Gy and estimates of radiation risk from other studies, a relative risk of only 1.18 would have been expected for a population of women exposed at an average age of 51 years. Thus, our data provide additional evidence that there is little if any risk of radiation-induced breast cancer associated with exposure of breast tissue to low-dose radiation (e.g., from mammographic x rays or adjuvant radiotherapy) in later life.
Mice which were alive in Durham at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear accident presented a highly significant increase in the incidence of those which bore tumours. The comparison is based upon mice which were studied over the previous 4 years. In males and females the increase amounted to 19 and 100 per cent respectively. The most frequent neoplasms to increase were malignant tumours of the reticuloendothelial system and of the reticuloses, lymphosarcoma and reticulum cell sarcoma were prevalent in mice kept after Chernobyl. The incidence of reticuloses increased by 24 and 18 per cent in males and females respectively.
Epidemiologic studies of uranium miners and other underground miners have consistently shown miners exposed to high levels of radon to be at increased risk of lung cancer. More recently, concern has arisen about lung cancer risks among people exposed to lower levels of radon in homes. The current Canadian guideline for residential radon exposure was set in 1988 at 800 Bq/m(3). Because of the accumulation of a considerable body of new scientific evidence on radon lung cancer risks since that time, Health Canada sponsored a workshop to review the current state-of-the-science on radon health risks. The specific objectives of the workshop were (1) to collect and assess scientific information relevant to setting national radon policy in Canada, and (2) to gather information on social, political, and operational considerations in setting national policy. The workshop, held on 3-4 March 2004, was attended by 38 invited scientists, regulators, and other stakeholders from Canada and the United States. The presentations on the first day dealt primarily with scientific issues. The combined analysis of North American residential radon and lung cancer studies was reviewed. The analysis confirmed a small but detectable increase in lung cancer risk at residential exposure levels. Current estimates suggest that radon in homes is responsible for approximately 10% of all lung cancer deaths in Canada, making radon the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoking. This was followed by a perspective from an UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) working group on radon. There were two presentations on occupational exposures to radon and two presentations considered the possibility of radon as a causative factor for cardiovascular disease and for cancer in other organs besides the lung. The possible contribution of environmental tobacco smoke to lung cancers in nonsmokers was also considered. Areas for future research were identified. The second day was devoted to policy and operational issues. The presentations began with a perspective from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, followed by a history of radon policy development in Canada. Subsequent presentations dealt with the cost-effectiveness of radon mitigation, Canadian building codes and radon, and a summary of radon standards from around the world. Provincial representatives and a private consultant were given opportunities to present their viewpoints. A number of strategies for reducing residential radon exposure in Canada were recognized, including testing and mitigation of existing homes (on either a widespread or targeted basis) and changing the building code to require that radon mitigation devices be installed at the time a new home is constructed. The various elements of a comprehensive national radon policy were set forth.