Interaction of radiation and smoking in lung cancer induction among workers at the Mayak nuclear enterprise.

Southern Ural Biophysics Institute, Ozyorsk, Russia.
Health Physics (Impact Factor: 1.02). 12/2002; 83(6):833-46. DOI: 10.1097/00004032-200212000-00011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT For radiation-related cancer risk evaluation, it is important to assess not only influences of individual risk factors but also their interactive effects (e.g., additive, multiplicative, etc.). Multivariate analysis methods adapted for interactive effects allow such assessments. We have used a multivariate analysis approach to investigate the pair-wise interactions of the previously identified three main etiological factors for lung cancer induction in Russian workers of the Mayak Production Association (PA) nuclear enterprise. These three factors are as follows: (1) body burden of inhaled plutonium-239 (239Pu), an influence on absorbed alpha-radiation dose; (2) cumulative, absorbed external gamma-radiation dose to the lung; and (3) level of cigarette smoking as indicated by a smoking index (SI). The SI represents the cigarettes smoked per day times years smoking. The Mayak PA workers were exposed by inhalation to both soluble and insoluble forms of 239Pu. Based on a cohort of 4,390 persons (77% male), we conducted a nested, case-control study of lung cancer induction using 486 matched cases and controls. Each case was matched to two controls. Matching was based on five factors: sex, year of birth, year work began, profession, and workplace. Three levels of smoking were considered: low (SI = 1 to 499), used as a reference level; middle (SI = 500 to 900); and high (SI = 901 to 2,000). For lung cancer induction, a supra-multiplicative effect was demonstrated for high external gamma-ray doses (> 2.0 Gy) plus high 239Pu intakes (body burden >2.3 kBq). This observation is consistent with the hypothesis of curvilinear dose-response relationships for lung cancer induction by high- and low-LET radiations. The interaction between radiation (external gamma rays or 239Pu body burden) and cigarette smoke was found to depend on the smoking level. For the middle level of smoking in combination with gamma radiation (> 2.0 Gy) or 239Pu body burden (> 2.3 kBq), results were consistent with additive effects. However, for the high level of smoking in combination with gamma radiation (> 2.0 Gy) or 239Pu body burden (> 2.3 kBq), results were consistent with the occurrence of multiplicative effects. These results indicate that low-dose risk estimates for radiation-induced lung cancer derived without adjusting for the influence of cigarette smoking could be greatly overestimated. Further, such systematic error may considerably distort the shape of the risk vs. dose curve and could possibly obscure the presence of a dose threshold for radiation-induced lung cancer.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is a well-recognized risk factor for lung cancer, and a sustained elevation of lung cancer risk persists even after smoking cessation. Despite identifiable risk factors, there has been minimal improvement in mortality for patients with lung cancer primarily stemming from diagnosis at a late stage when there are few effective therapeutic options. Early detection of lung cancer and effective screening of high-risk individuals may help improve lung cancer mortality. While low dose computerized tomography (LDCT) screening of high risk smokers has been shown to reduce lung cancer mortality, the high rates of false positives and potential for over-diagnosis have raised questions on how to best implement lung cancer screening. The rapidly evolving field of lung cancer screening and early-detection biomarkers may ultimately improve the ability to diagnose lung cancer in its early stages, identify smokers at highest-risk for this disease, and target chemoprevention strategies. This review aims to provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges related to lung cancer screening, the field of biomarker development for early lung cancer detection, and the future of lung cancer chemoprevention.
    Cancers. 01/2014; 6(2):1157-79.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An exploratory epidemiological study was conducted for 319 deceased nuclear workers who had intakes of transuranic radionuclides and histories of employment during the time period from 1943 to 1995. The workers were employed at various facilities throughout the United States, including the Department of Energy defense facilities and uranium mining and milling sites. The majority of individuals were involved in documented radiological incidents during their careers. All had voluntarily agreed to donate their organs or whole body to the United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries. External and internal dose assessments were performed using occupational exposure histories and postmortem concentrations of transuranic radionuclides in critical organs. Statistical data analyses were performed to investigate the potential relationship between radiation exposure and causes of death within this population due to cancers of the lungs, liver, and all sites combined while controlling for the effects of other confounders. No association was found between radiation exposure and death due to cancer (α = 0.05). However, statistically significant associations were found between death due to any type of cancer and smoking (yes or no) (odds ratio = 5.41; 95% CI: 1.42 to 20.67) and rate of cigarette smoking (packs per day) (odds ratio = 2.70; 95% CI: 1.37 to 5.30).
    Health physics 04/2012; 102(4):443-52. · 0.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Workers at the Mayak nuclear facility in the Russian Federation offer a unique opportunity to evaluate health risks from exposure to inhaled plutonium. Risks of mortality from lung cancer, the most serious carcinogenic effect of plutonium, were evaluated in 14,621 Mayak workers who were hired in the period from 1948-1982, followed for at least 5 years, and either monitored for plutonium or never worked with plutonium. Over the follow-up period from 1953-2008, there were 486 deaths from lung cancer, 446 of them in men. In analyses that were adjusted for external radiation dose and smoking, the plutonium excess relative risk (ERR) per Gy declined with attained age and was higher for females than for males. The ERR per Gy for males at age 60 was 7.4 (95% CI: 5.0-11) while that for females was 24 (95% CI: 11-56). When analyses were restricted to plutonium doses <0.2 Gy, the ERR per Gy for males at age 60 were similar: 7.0 (95% CI: 2.5-13). Of the 486 lung cancer deaths, 105 (22%) were attributed to plutonium exposure and 29 (6%) to external exposure. Analyses of the 12,708 workers with information on smoking indicated that the relationship of plutonium exposure and smoking was likely sub-multiplicative (P = 0.011) and strongly indicated that it was super-additive (P < 0.001). Although extensive efforts have been made to improve plutonium dose estimates in this cohort, they are nevertheless subject to large uncertainties. Large bioassay measurement errors alone are likely to have resulted in serious underestimation of risks, whereas other sources of uncertainty may have biased results in ways that are difficult to predict. © 2013 by Radiation Research Society.
    Radiation Research 02/2013; · 2.70 Impact Factor