We have gamma irradiated plasmid DNA in aqueous solution in the presence of sub millimolar concentrations of the ligand tetra-arginine. Depending upon the ionic strength, under these conditions the plasmid can adopt a highly compacted and aggregated form which attenuates by some two orders of magnitude the yield of damage produced by the indirect effect. The yields of DNA single and double strand breaks (SSB and DSB) which result are closely comparable with those produced in living cells. The radical lifetimes, diffusion distances, and track structure are expected to be similarly well reproduced. After irradiation, the aggregation was reversed by adjusting the ionic conditions. The approximate spatial distribution of the resulting DNA damage was then assayed using by comparing the increases in the SSB and DSB yields produced by a subsequent incubation with limiting concentrations of the eukaryotic base excision repair enzymes formamidopyrimidine-DNA N-glycosylase (the FPG protein) and endonuclease III. Smaller increases in DSB yields were observed in the plasmid target that was irradiated in the condensed form. By modeling the spatial distribution of DNA damage, this result can be interpreted in terms of a greater extent of damage clustering.
Gamma radiation; DNA damage; DNA condensation; Clustered damage
Background stratified Poisson regression is an approach that has been used in the analysis of data derived from a variety of epidemiologically important studies of radiation-exposed populations, including uranium miners, nuclear industry workers, and atomic bomb survivors. We describe a novel approach to fit Poisson regression models that adjust for a set of covariates through background stratification while directly estimating the radiation-disease association of primary interest. The approach makes use of an expression for the Poisson likelihood that treats the coefficients for stratum-specific indicator variables as ‘nuisance’ variables and avoids the need to explicitly estimate the coefficients for these stratum-specific parameters. Log-linear models, as well as other general relative rate models, are accommodated. This approach is illustrated using data from the Life Span Study of Japanese atomic bomb survivors and data from a study of underground uranium miners. The point estimate and confidence interval obtained from this ‘conditional’ regression approach are identical to the values obtained using unconditional Poisson regression with model terms for each background stratum. Moreover, it is shown that the proposed approach allows estimation of background stratified Poisson regression models of non-standard form, such as models that parameterize latency effects, as well as regression models in which the number of strata is large, thereby overcoming the limitations of previously available statistical software for fitting background stratified Poisson regression models.
Cohort studies; Poisson regression; Ionizing radiation; Survival analysis
Carcinogenesis induced by space radiation is considered a major risk factor in manned interplanetary and other extended missions. The models presently used to estimate the risk for cancer induction following deep space radiation exposure are based on data from A-bomb survivor cohorts and do not account for important biological differences existing between high-linear energy transfer (LET) and low-LET-induced DNA damage. High-energy and charge (HZE) radiation, the main component of galactic cosmic rays (CGR), causes highly complex DNA damage compared to low-LET radiation, which may lead to increased frequency of chromosomal rearrangements, and contribute to carcinogenic risk in astronauts. Gastrointestinal (GI) tumors are frequent in the United States, and colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer accounting for 10% of all cancer deaths. On the basis of the aforementioned epidemiological observations and the frequency of spontaneous precancerous GI lesions in the general population, even a modest increase in incidence by space radiation exposure could have a significant effect on health risk estimates for future manned space flights. Ground-based research is necessary to reduce the uncertainties associated with projected cancer risk estimates and to gain insights into molecular mechanisms involved in space radiation-induced carcinogenesis. We investigated in vivo differential effects of γ-rays and HZE ions on intestinal tumorigenesis using two different murine models, ApcMin/+ and Apc1638 N/+. We showed that γ- and/or HZE exposure significantly enhances development and progression of intestinal tumors in a mutant-line-specific manner, and identified suitable models for in vivo studies of space radiation–induced intestinal tumorigenesis.
Apc; intestinal tumorigenesis; space radiation; risk estimates
As a part of the near solar system exploration program, astronauts may receive significant total body proton radiation exposures during a solar particle event (SPE). In the Center for Acute Radiation Research (CARR), symptoms of the acute radiation sickness syndrome induced by conventional radiation are being compared to those induced by SPE-like proton radiation, to determine the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of SPE protons. In an SPE, the astronaut’s whole body will be exposed to radiation consisting mainly of protons with energies below 50 MeV. In addition to providing for a potentially higher RBE than conventional radiation, the energy distribution for an SPE will produce a relatively inhomogeneous total body dose distribution, with a significantly higher dose delivered to the skin and subcutaneous tissues than to the internal organs. These factors make it difficult to use a 60Co standard for RBE comparisons in our experiments. Here, the novel concept of using megavoltage electron beam radiation to more accurately reproduce both the total dose and the dose distribution of SPE protons and make meaningful RBE comparisons between protons and conventional radiation is described. In these studies, Monte Carlo simulation was used to determine the dose distribution of electron beam radiation in small mammals such as mice and ferrets as well as large mammals such as pigs. These studies will help to better define the topography of the time-dose-fractionation versus biological response landscape for astronaut exposure to an SPE.
The 14C content of 60 human blood serum samples from residents of Malmö (Sweden) in 1978, obtained from a biobank, has been measured to estimate the accuracy of 14C bomb-pulse dating. The difference between the date estimated using the Calibomb software and sampling date varied between −3 ± 0.4 and +0.2 ± 0.5 years. The average age deviation of all samples was −1.5 ± 0.7 years, with the delay between production and consumption of foodstuffs being probably the dominating cause. The potential influence of food habits on the 14C date has been evaluated using stable isotope δ13C and δ15N analysis and information about the dietary habits of the investigated individuals. Although the group consisting of lacto-ovo vegetarians and vegans (pooled group) was not completely separated from the omnivores in a stable isotopic trophic level diagram, this analysis proved to add valuable information on probable dietary habits. The age deviation of the sampling date from the respective Calibomb date was found strongly correlated with the δ13C values, probably due to influence from marine diet components. For the omnivore individuals, there were indications of seasonal effects on δ13C and the age deviation. No significant correlation was found between the age deviation and the δ15N values of any dietary group. No influence of sex or year of birth was found on neither the 14C nor the δ13C and δ15N values of the serum samples. The data were also divided into two groups (omnivores and pooled group), based on the level of δ15N in the samples. The consumption of high δ15N-valued fish and birds can be responsible for this clustering.
Serum; Bomb-pulse dating; Stable isotopes
In this pilot study we compared for the first time the radiation sensitivity of mouse lens epithelial cells (LECs) and mouse lymphocytes. We freshly prepared LECs and lymphocytes and irradiated them with γ-rays (137Cs; doses ranging from 0.25 to 2 Gy). DNA damage and repair were evaluated by alkaline comet assay and γH2AX foci assay. Using the comet assay, we observed a dose-dependent increase in DNA damage in both cell types. The faster formation of single- and double-strand breaks in LECs of C57BL/6 mice at doses below 1 Gy needs to be confirmed in other mouse strains. Immunofluorescence for γH2AX foci showed a higher degree of lesions in LECs from C57BL/6J mice compared to those of JF1 mice and to lymphocytes of both strains. Correspondingly, repair of DNA damage proceeded faster in LECs of C57BL/6J mice compared to LECs of JF1 mice and lymphocytes of both strains. It is obvious that the lymphocytes of both strains repaired DNA lesions more slowly than the corresponding LECs. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that LECs of C57Bl/6 mice show a steeper dose–response than lymphocytes in both types of experiments. It shows that both test systems are able to be used also at doses below 0.25 Gy. The observed difference in DNA repair between the LECs from C57BL/6J mice compared to the LECs from JF1 mice and to the lymphocytes of both strains warrants further experiments to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms.
Lens epithelial cells; Lymphocytes; Gamma-irradiation; Comet assay; Gamma-H2AX assay; Radiation sensitivity
A recent analysis of leukaemia mortality in Japanese A-bomb survivors has applied descriptive models, collected together from previous studies, to derive a joint excess relative risk estimate (ERR) by multi-model inference (MMI) (Walsh and Kaiser in Radiat Environ Biophys 50:21–35, 2011). The models use a linear-quadratic dose response with differing dose effect modifiers. In the present study, a set of more than 40 models has been submitted to a rigorous statistical selection procedure which fosters the parsimonious deployment of model parameters based on pairwise likelihood ratio tests. Nested models were consequently excluded from risk assessment. The set comprises models of the excess absolute risk (EAR) and two types of non-standard ERR models with sigmoidal responses or two line spline functions with a changing slope at a break point. Due to clearly higher values of the Akaike Information Criterion, none of the EAR models has been selected, but two non-standard ERR models qualified for MMI. The preferred ERR model applies a purely quadratic dose response which is slightly damped by an exponential factor at high doses and modified by a power function for attained age. Compared to the previous analysis, the present study reports similar point estimates and confidence intervals (CI) of the ERR from MMI for doses between 0.5 and 2.5 Sv. However, at lower doses, the point estimates are markedly reduced by factors between two and five, although the reduction was not statistically significant. The 2.5 % percentiles of the ERR from the preferred quadratic-exponential model did not fall below zero risk in exposure scenarios for children, adolescents and adults at very low doses down to 10 mSv. Yet, MMI produced risk estimates with a positive 2.5 % percentile only above doses of some 300 mSv. Compared to CI from a single model of choice, CI from MMI are broadened in cohort strata with low statistical power by a combination of risk extrapolations from several models. Reverting to MMI can relieve the dilemma of needing to choose between models with largely different consequences for risk assessment in public health.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00411-012-0437-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Leukaemia mortality; Radiation risk; A-bomb survivors; Nonlinear dose response; Multi-model inference
In order to provide fundamental data required for dose evaluation due to environmental exposures, effective dose conversion coefficients, that is, the effective dose rate per unit activity per unit area, were calculated for a number of potentially important radionuclides, assuming an exponential distribution in ground, over a wide range of relaxation depths. The conversion coefficients were calculated for adults and a new-born baby on the basis of dosimetric methods that the authors and related researchers have previously developed, using Monte Carlo simulations and anthropomorphic computational phantoms. The differences in effective dose conversion coefficients due to body size between the adult and baby phantoms were found to lie within 50 %, for most cases; however, for some low energies, differences could amount to a factor of 3. The effective dose per unit source intensity per area was found to decrease by a factor of 2–5, for increasing relaxation depths from 0 to 5 g/cm2, above a source energy of 50 keV. It is also shown that implementation of the calculated coefficients into the computation of the tissue weighting factors and the adult reference computational phantoms of ICRP Publication 103 does not significantly influence the effective dose conversion coefficients of the environment. Consequently, the coefficients shown in this paper could be applied for the evaluation of effective doses, as defined according to both recommendations of ICRP Publications 103 and 60.
Effective dose; Conversion coefficients; Ground source; Exponential distribution; Radionuclides
The non-cancer mortality data for cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and cardiovascular diseases from Report 13 on the atomic bomb survivors published by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation were analysed to investigate the dose–response for the influence of radiation on these detrimental health effects. Various parametric and categorical models (such as linear-no-threshold (LNT) and a number of threshold and step models) were analysed with a statistical selection protocol that rated the model description of the data. Instead of applying the usual approach of identifying one preferred model for each data set, a set of plausible models was applied, and a sub-set of non-nested models was identified that all fitted the data about equally well. Subsequently, this sub-set of non-nested models was used to perform multi-model inference (MMI), an innovative method of mathematically combining different models to allow risk estimates to be based on several plausible dose–response models rather than just relying on a single model of choice. This procedure thereby produces more reliable risk estimates based on a more comprehensive appraisal of model uncertainties. For CVD, MMI yielded a weak dose–response (with a risk estimate of about one-third of the LNT model) below a step at 0.6 Gy and a stronger dose–response at higher doses. The calculated risk estimates are consistent with zero risk below this threshold-dose. For mortalities related to cardiovascular diseases, an LNT-type dose–response was found with risk estimates consistent with zero risk below 2.2 Gy based on 90% confidence intervals. The MMI approach described here resolves a dilemma in practical radiation protection when one is forced to select between models with profoundly different dose–responses for risk estimates.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00411-012-0410-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Risk assessment; Radiation; Cerebrovascular disease; Cardiovascular diseases; Threshold-dose; LNT
While there is a considerable number of studies on the relationship between the risk of disease or death and direct exposure from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, the risk for indirect exposure caused by residual radioactivity has not yet been fully evaluated. One of the reasons is that risk assessments have utilized estimated radiation doses, but that it is difficult to estimate indirect exposure. To evaluate risks for other causes, including indirect radiation exposure, as well as direct exposure, a statistical method is described here that evaluates risk with respect to individual location at the time of atomic bomb exposure instead of radiation dose. In addition, it is also considered to split the risks into separate risks due to direct exposure and other causes using radiation dose. The proposed method is applied to a cohort study of Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors. The resultant contour map suggests that the region west to the hypocenter has a higher risk compared to other areas. This in turn suggests that there exists an impact on risk that cannot be explained by direct exposure.
Atomic bomb survivors; Direct exposure; Indirect exposure; Spatial survival data; Spatially varying coefficient
Although the link between high doses of ionizing radiation and damage to the heart and coronary arteries has been well established for some time, the association between lower-dose exposures and late occurring cardiovascular disease has only recently begun to emerge, and is still controversial. In this paper, we extend an earlier systematic review by Little et al. on the epidemiological evidence for associations between low and moderate doses of ionizing radiation exposure and late occurring blood circulatory system disease. Excess relative risks per unit dose in epidemiological studies vary over at least two orders of magnitude, possibly a result of confounding and effect modification by well-known (but unobserved) risk factors, and there is statistically significant (p < 0.00001) heterogeneity between the risks. This heterogeneity is reduced, but remains significant, if adjustments are made for the effects of fractionated delivery or if there is stratification by endpoint (cardiovascular disease vs. stroke, morbidity vs. mortality). One possible biological mechanism is damage to endothelial cells and subsequent induction of an inflammatory response, although it seems unlikely that this would extend to low-dose and low-dose-rate exposure. A recent paper of Little et al. proposed an arguably more plausible mechanism for fractionated low-dose effects, based on monocyte cell killing in the intima. Although the predictions of the model are consistent with the epidemiological data, the experimental predictions made have yet to be tested. Further epidemiological and biological evidence will allow a firmer conclusion to be drawn.
Controversy regarding potential health risks from increased use of medical diagnostic radiologic examinations has come to public attention. We evaluated whether chromosome damage, specifically translocations, which are a potentially intermediate biomarker for cancer risk, was increased after exposure to diagnostic X-rays, with particular interest in the ionizing radiation dose–response below the level of approximately 50 mGy. Chromosome translocation frequency data from three separately conducted occupational studies of ionizing radiation were pooled together. Studies 1 and 2 included 79 and 150 medical radiologic technologists, respectively, and study 3 included 83 airline pilots and 50 university faculty members (total = 155 women and 207 men; mean age = 62 years, range 34–90). Information on personal history of radiographic examinations was collected from a detailed questionnaire. We computed a cumulative red bone marrow (RBM) dose score based on the numbers and types of X-ray examinations reported with 1 unit approximating 1 mGy. Poisson regression analyses were adjusted for age and laboratory method. Mean RBM dose scores were 49, 42, and 11 for Studies 1–3, respectively (overall mean = 33.5, range 0–303). Translocation frequencies significantly increased with increasing dose score (P < 0.001). Restricting the analysis to the lowest dose scores of under 50 did not materially change these results. We conclude that chromosome damage is associated with low levels of radiation exposure from diagnostic X-ray examinations, including dose scores of approximately 50 and lower, suggesting the possibility of long-term adverse health effects.
The purpose of this work was to analyze chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in untreated and in irradiated squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) tumor cell lines, aiming at the establishment of assays to test for the relevance of chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in the response of SCCHN to radiotherapy and radiochemotherapy. Five low passage and 10 established SCCHN lines, as well as two normal cell lines, were irradiated at 2 Gy or sham-irradiated, and harvested between 1 and 48 h after treatment. For chemokines with CC and CXC structural motifs and their receptors, transcript levels of target and reference genes were quantified relatively by real-time PCR. In addition, CXCL1 and CXCL12 protein expression was analyzed by ELISA. A substantial variation in chemokine and chemokine receptor expression between SCCHN was detected. Practically, all cell lines expressed CCL5 and CCL20, while CCL2 was expressed in normal cells and in some of the tumor cell lines. CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL3, CXCL10, and CXCL11 were expressed in the vast majority of the cell lines, while the expression of CXCL9 and CXCL12 was restricted to fibroblasts and few tumor cell lines. None of the analyzed cell lines expressed the chemokines CCL3, CCL4, or CCL19. Of the receptors, transcript expression of CCR1, CCR2, CCR3, CCR5, CCR7, CCXR2, and CCXR3 was not detected, and CCR6, CXCR1, and CXCR4 expression was restricted to few tumor cells. Radiation caused up- and down-regulation with respect to chemokine expressions, while for chemokine receptor expressions down-regulations were prevailing. CXCL1 and CXCL12 protein expression corresponded well with the mRNA expression. We conclude that the substantial variation in chemokine and chemokine receptor expression between SCCHN offer opportunities for the establishment of assays to test for the relevance of chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in the response of SCCHN to radiotherapy and radiochemotherapy.
DNA-damaging agents can induce clustered lesions or multiply damaged sites (MDSs) on the same or opposing DNA strands. In the latter, attempts to repair MDS can generate closely opposed single-strand break intermediates that may convert non-lethal or mutagenic base damage into double-strand breaks (DSBs). We constructed a diploid S. cerevisiae yeast strain with a chromosomal context targeted by integrative DNA fragments carrying different damages to determine whether closely opposed base damages are converted to DSBs following the outcomes of the homologous recombination repair pathway. As a model of MDS, we studied clustered uracil DNA damages with a known location and a defined distance separating the lesions. The system we describe might well be extended to assessing the repair of MDSs with different compositions, and to most of the complex DNA lesions induced by physical and chemical agents.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00411-010-0303-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
As outlined in NCRP Report No. 160, the average value of the effective dose to exposed individual in the United States has increased by a factor of 1.7 over the time period 1982 to 2006, with the contribution of medical exposures correspondingly increasing by a factor of 5.7. at present, medical contributors to the effective dose include computed tomography (50% of total medical exposure), nuclear medicine (25%), interventional fluoroscopy (15%), and conventional radiography and diagnostic fluoroscopy (10%). This increased awareness of medical exposures has led to a graduate shift in the focus of radiation epidemiological studies from traditional occupational and environmental exposures to those focusing on cohorts of medical patients exposed to both diagnostic and therapeutic sources. The assignment of organ doses to patients in either a retrospective or prospective study has increasingly relied on the use of computational anatomical phantoms. In this paper, we review the various methods and approaches used to construction patient phantom models to include anthropometric databases, cadaver imaging, prospective volunteer imaging studies, and retrospective image reviews. Phantom format types – stylized, voxel, and hybrid – as well as phantom morphometric categories – reference, patient-dependent, and patient-specific – are next defined and discussed. Specific emphasis is given to hybrid phantoms – those defined through the use of combinations of polygon mesh and NURBS surfaces. The concept of a patient-dependent phantom is reviewed in which phantoms of non-50th percentile heights and weights are designed from population-based morphometric databases and provided as a larger library of phantoms for patient matching and lookup of refined values of organ dose coefficients and/or radionuclide S values. We close with two brief examples of the use of hybrid phantoms in medical dose reconstruction – diagnostic nuclear medicine for pediatric subjects and interventional fluoroscopy for adult patients.
Stylized phantom; voxel phantom; hybrid phantom; reference phantom; patient-specific phantom; patient-dependent phantom; medical dose reconstruction; organ dosimetry
Purpose of this work was to test the effect of tumour-cell-derived keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) or recombinant KGF (palifermin) on cell proliferation and radiation response of human HNSCC cells and normal keratinocytes in vitro. Four tumour cell cultures derived from head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, primary keratinocytes, and immortalized keratinocytes were analysed. Fibroblasts, the natural source of KGF protein, served as controls. KGF expression was observed in primary and immortalized keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and in tumour cells, while significant KGF receptor expression was only found in keratinocytes. Recombinant KGF as well as tumour-cell-derived KGF caused a significant growth stimulation and radioprotection in keratinocytes, which was abolished by a neutralizing anti-KGF antibody. This indicates that tumour-cell-derived KGF is biologically active. In the tumour cell lines, no significant growth stimulation was induced by recombinant KGF, and the neutralizing antibody did not influence tumour cell growth or radiation response. Our results indicate that the normal, paracrine KGF regulatory mechanisms, which are based on KGF receptor expression, are lost in malignant cells, with the consequence of irresponsiveness of the tumour cells to exogenous KGF. In face of the amelioration of the radiation response of normal epithelia, demonstrated in various clinical and various preclinical animal studies, recombinant KGF represents a candidate for the selective protection of normal epithelia during radio(chemo) therapy of squamous cell carcinoma.
Quantitative multistage carcinogenesis models are used in radiobiology to estimate cancer risks and latency periods (time from exposure to clinical cancer). Steps such as initiation, promotion and transformation have been modeled in detail. However, progression, a later step during which malignant cells can develop into clinical symptomatic cancer, has often been approximated simply as a fixed lag time. This approach discounts important stochastic mechanisms in progression and evidence on the high prevalence of dormant tumors. Modeling progression more accurately is therefore important for risk assessment. Unlike models of earlier steps, progression models can readily utilize not only experimental and epidemiological data but also clinical data such as the results of modern screening and imaging. Here, a stochastic progression model is presented. We describe, with minimal parameterization: the initial growth or extinction of a malignant clone after formation of a malignant cell; the likely dormancy caused, for example, by nutrient and oxygen deprivation; and possible escape from dormancy resulting in a clinical cancer. It is shown, using cohort simulations with parameters appropriate for lung adenocarcinomas, that incorporating such processes can dramatically lengthen predicted latency periods. Such long latency periods together with data on timing of radiation-induced cancers suggest that radiation may influence progression itself.
The aim of the study was to compare the spontaneous and ex vivo radiation-induced chromosomal damage in lymphocytes of untreated prostate cancer patients and age-matched healthy donors, and to evaluate the chromosomal damage, induced by radiotherapy, and its persistence. Blood samples from 102 prostate cancer patients were obtained before radiotherapy to investigate the excess acentric fragments and dicentric chromosomes. In addition, in a subgroup of ten patients, simple exchanges in chromosomes 2 and 4 were evaluated by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), before the onset of therapy, in the middle and at the end of therapy, and 1 year later. Data were compared to blood samples from ten age-matched healthy donors. We found that spontaneous yields of acentric chromosome fragments and simple exchanges were significantly increased in lymphocytes of patients before onset of therapy, indicating chromosomal instability in these patients. Ex vivo radiation-induced aberrations were not significantly increased, indicating proficient repair of radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks in lymphocytes of these patients. As expected, the yields of dicentric and acentric chromosomes, and the partial yields of simple exchanges, were increased after the onset of therapy. Surprisingly, yields after 1 year were comparable to those directly after radiotherapy, indicating persistence of chromosomal instability over this time. Our results indicate that prostate cancer patients are characterized by increased spontaneous chromosomal instability. This instability seems to result from defects other than a deficient repair of radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks. Radiotherapy-induced chromosomal damage persists 1 year after treatment.
Mathematical models of radiation carcinogenesis are important for understanding mechanisms and for interpreting or extrapolating risk. There are two classes of such models: (1) long-term formalisms that track pre-malignant cell numbers throughout an entire lifetime but treat initial radiation dose–response simplistically and (2) short-term formalisms that provide a detailed initial dose–response even for complicated radiation protocols, but address its modulation during the subsequent cancer latency period only indirectly. We argue that integrating short- and long-term models is needed. As an example of this novel approach, we integrate a stochastic short-term initiation/inactivation/repopulation model with a deterministic two-stage long-term model. Within this new formalism, the following assumptions are implemented: radiation initiates, promotes, or kills pre-malignant cells; a pre-malignant cell generates a clone, which, if it survives, quickly reaches a size limitation; the clone subsequently grows more slowly and can eventually generate a malignant cell; the carcinogenic potential of pre-malignant cells decreases with age.
As the number of cancer survivors grows, prediction of radiotherapy-induced second cancer risks becomes increasingly important. Because the latency period for solid tumors is long, the risks of recently introduced radiotherapy protocols are not yet directly measurable. In the accompanying article, we presented a new biologically based mathematical model, which, in principle, can estimate second cancer risks for any protocol. The novelty of the model is that it integrates, into a single formalism, mechanistic analyses of pre-malignant cell dynamics on two different time scales: short-term during radiotherapy and recovery; long-term during the entire life span. Here, we apply the model to nine solid cancer types (stomach, lung, colon, rectal, pancreatic, bladder, breast, central nervous system, and thyroid) using data on radiotherapy-induced second malignancies, on Japanese atomic bomb survivors, and on background US cancer incidence. Potentially, the model can be incorporated into radiotherapy treatment planning algorithms, adding second cancer risk as an optimization criterion.
In a previous publication, we were able to show that irradiation of Kupffer cells, the liver resident macrophages, leads to an increased TNF-α concentration in the culture medium. The pathomechanisms underlying this phenomenon, however, remained to be elucidated. Here, we show that following irradiation of Kupffer cells, the apoptosis rate increased drastically within 48 h. At the same time, the total TNF-α concentration in cell lysates of Kupffer cells attached to the culture plate decreased. However, normalization of the TNF-α concentration with respect to cell number revealed that TNF-α concentration per attached cell remained constant during the observation period. Western blot analysis showed that heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) is strongly downregulated and bax is upregulated in irradiated Kupffer cells as compared to sham-irradiated cells. Overexpression of Hsp27 in Kupffer cells was shown to prevent the effect of irradiation on bax expression, apoptosis and, at the same time, on increase of TNF-α concentration in the Kupffer cell medium. We conclude that irradiation of Kupffer cells leads to apoptosis because of downregulation of Hsp27 and consecutive upregulation of bax expression. Furthermore, we suggest that apoptosis of Kupffer cells leads to an increase of TNF-α concentration in the culture medium which may be due to cell death rather than active release or synthesis.
The mysterious death of Mr. Alexander Litvinenko who was most possibly poisoned by Polonium-210 (210Po) in November 2006 in London attracted the attention of the public to the kinetics, dosimetry and the risk of this high radiotoxic isotope in the human body. In the present paper, the urinary excretion of seven persons who were possibly exposed to traces of 210Po was monitored. The values measured in the GSF Radioanalytical Laboratory are in the range of natural background concentration. To assess the effective dose received by those persons, the time-dependence of the organ equivalent dose and the effective dose after acute ingestion and inhalation of 210Po were calculated using the biokinetic model for polonium (Po) recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the one recently published by Leggett and Eckerman (L&E). The daily urinary excretion to effective dose conversion factors for ingestion and inhalation were evaluated based on the ICRP and L&E models for members of the public. The ingestion (inhalation) effective dose per unit intake integrated over one day is 1.7 × 10−8 (1.4 × 10−7) Sv Bq−1, 2.0 × 10−7 (9.6 × 10−7) Sv Bq−1 over 10 days, 5.2 × 10−7 (2.0 × 10−6) Sv Bq−1 over 30 days and 1.0 × 10−6 (3.0 × 10−6) Sv Bq−1 over 100 days. The daily urinary excretions after acute ingestion (inhalation) of 1 Bq of 210Po are 1.1 × 10−3 (1.0 × 10−4) on day 1, 2.0 × 10−3 (1.9 × 10−4) on day 10, 1.3 × 10−3 (1.7 × 10−4) on day 30 and 3.6 × 10−4 (8.3 × 10−5) Bq d−1 on day 100, respectively. The resulting committed effective doses range from 2.1 × 10−3 to 1.7 × 10−2 mSv by an assumption of ingestion and from 5.5 × 10−2 to 4.5 × 10−1 mSv by inhalation. For the case of Mr. Litvinenko, the mean organ absorbed dose as a function of time was calculated using both the above stated models. The red bone marrow, the kidneys and the liver were considered as the critical organs. Assuming a value of lethal absorbed dose of 5 Gy to the bone marrow, 6 Gy to the kidneys and 8 Gy to the liver, the amount of 210Po which Mr. Litvinenko might have ingested is therefore estimated to range from 27 to 1,408 MBq, i.e 0.2–8.5 μg, depending on the modality of intake and on different assumptions about blood absorption.
This paper summarises the five presentations at the First International Workshop on Systems Radiation Biology that were concerned with mechanistic models for carcinogenesis. The mathematical description of various hypotheses about the carcinogenic process, and its comparison with available data is an example of systems biology. It promises better understanding of effects at the whole body level based on properties of cells and signalling mechanisms between them. Of these five presentations, three dealt with multistage carcinogenesis within the framework of stochastic multistage clonal expansion models, another presented a deterministic multistage model incorporating chromosomal aberrations and neoplastic transformation, and the last presented a model of DNA double-strand break repair pathways for second breast cancers following radiation therapy.