Estimation of cancer risks from radiotherapy of benign diseases

August 1, 2006


The effective-dose method which was proposed by the ICRP (International Commission of Radiation Protection) for the estimation of risk to the general population from occupational or environmental, low-dose radiation exposure is not adequate for estimating the risk of cancer induction by radiotherapy of malignant or nonmalignant diseases.


The risk of cancer induction by radiotherapy of benign diseases should be based on epidemiologic data directly derived from follow-up studies of patients who had been given radiotherapy for nonmalignant diseases in the past.


Risk factors were derived from epidemiologic studies of patients treated with irradiation for nonmalignant diseases to be used for selecting treatment options and optimizing treatment procedures.


In most cases, cancer risks estimated by the effective-dose method may overestimate the true risks by one order of magnitude, yet in other cases even may underestimate it. The proposed method using organ-specific risk factors may be more suitable for treatment planning.

Trott KR, Kamprad F.

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