Radiation Carcinogenesis Risk Assessments for Never-smokers.
ABSTRACT Cigarette smoking, which is presently associated with more than 20% of adult deaths in the United States, is a large confounder to radiation risk estimates derived from epidemiology data. Astronauts and other exposed groups are classified as never-smokers (NS), defined as lifetime use of less than 100 cigarettes. In the past, radiation risk estimates have been made using average U.S. population rates for cancer and all causes of death, which may lead to overestimation of radiation risks for NS. In this report, age- and gender-specific radiation carcinogenesis risk calculations for NS and the average U.S. population are compared. Lung is the major tissue site for smoking and radiation-related cancer. However, other radiogenic cancers where tobacco has been shown to increase population cancer rates are esophagus, oral cavity, salivary gland, bladder, stomach, liver, colorectal, and leukemia. After adjusting U.S. cancer rates to remove smoking effects, radiation risks for lung and other cancers were estimated using the multiplicative risk model and a mixture model, with weighted contributions for additive and multiplicative risk transfer. Radiation mortality risks for NS were reduced compared to the average U.S. population by more than 20% and 50% in the mixture model and multiplicative transfer models, respectively. The authors discuss possible mechanisms of cancer risks from radiation and tobacco that suggest multiplicative effects could occur. These results suggest that improved understanding of possible synergisms between cancer initiators and promoters, such as radiation and tobacco, would greatly improve risk estimates and reduce uncertainties for differentially exposed groups, including NS.
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ABSTRACT: The prediction of the risks of cancer and other late effects from space radiation exposure carries large uncertainties mostly due to the lack of information on the risks from high charge and energy (HZE) particles and other high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation. In our recent work new methods were used to consider NASA's requirement to protect against the acceptable risk of no more than 3% probability of cancer fatality estimated at the 95% confidence level. Because it is not possible that a zero-level of uncertainty could be achieved, we suggest that an acceptable uncertainty level should be defined in relationship to a probability distribution function (PDF) that only suffers from modest skewness with higher uncertainty allowed for a normal PDF. In this paper, we evaluate PDFs and the number or “safe days” in space, which are defined as the mission length where risk limits are not exceeded, for several mission scenarios at different acceptable levels of uncertainty. In addition, we briefly discuss several important issues in risk assessment including non-cancer effects, the distinct tumor spectra and lethality found in animal experiments for HZE particles compared to background or low LET radiation associated tumors, and the possibility of non-targeted effects (NTE) modifying low dose responses and increasing relative biological effectiveness (RBE) factors for tumor induction. Each of these issues skew uncertainty distributions to higher fatality probabilities with the potential to increase central values of risk estimates in the future. Therefore they will require significant research efforts to support space exploration within acceptable levels of risk and uncertainty.Life sciences and space research 04/2015; 5. DOI:10.1016/j.lssr.2015.04.002
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ABSTRACT: Long duration space missions present unique radiation protection challenges due to the complexity of the space radiation environment, which includes high charge and energy particles and other highly ionizing radiation such as neutrons. Based on a recommendation by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, a 3% lifetime risk of exposure-induced death for cancer has been used as a basis for risk limitation by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for low-Earth orbit missions. NASA has developed a risk-based approach to radiation exposure limits that accounts for individual factors (age, gender, and smoking history) and assesses the uncertainties in risk estimates. New radiation quality factors with associated probability distribution functions to represent the quality factor's uncertainty have been developed based on track structure models and recent radiobiology data for high charge and energy particles. The current radiation dose limits are reviewed for spaceflight and the various qualitative and quantitative uncertainties that impact the risk of exposure-induced death estimates using the NASA Space Cancer Risk (NSCR) model. NSCR estimates of the number of "safe days" in deep space to be within exposure limits and risk estimates for a Mars exploration mission are described.Health Physics 02/2015; 108(2):131-42. DOI:10.1097/HP.0000000000000255 · 0.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although radiation therapy is commonly used for treatment for many human diseases including cancer, ionizing radiation produces reactive oxygen species that can damage both cancer and healthy cells. Synthetic triterpenoids, including CDDO-Me, act as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant modulators primarily by inducing the transcription factor Nrf2 to activate downstream genes containing antioxidant response elements (AREs). In the present series of experiments, we determined if CDDO-Me can be used as a radioprotector in normal non-cancerous human lung and breast epithelial cells, in comparison to lung and breast cancer cell lines. A panel of normal non-cancerous, partially cancer progressed, and cancer cell lines from both lung and breast tissue was exposed to gamma radiation with and without pre-treatment with CDDO-Me. CDDO-Me was an effective radioprotector when given ∼18 hours before radiation in epithelial cells (average dose modifying factor (DMF) = 1.3), and Nrf2 function was necessary for CDDO-Me to exert these radioprotective effects. CDDO-Me did not protect cancer lines tested from radiation-induced cytotoxicity, nor did it protect experimentally transformed human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) with progressive oncogenic manipulations. CDDO-Me also protected human lymphocytes against radiation-induced DNA damage. A therapeutic window exists in which CDDO-Me protects normal cells from radiation by activating the Nrf2 pathway, but does not protect experimentally transformed or cancer cell lines. This suggests that use of this oral available, non-toxic class of drug can protect non-cancerous healthy cells during radiotherapy, resulting in better outcomes and less toxicity for patients.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115600. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115600 · 3.53 Impact Factor