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May 25, 2005

Estimation of radiation-induced cancer from three-dimensional dose distributions: Concept of organ equivalent dose.

Topics: Medicine

Researchers at the Department of Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, City Hospital Triemli, in Zurich, Switzerland, report a new method to estimate organ-specific radiation-induced cancer incidence rates after radiotherapy, which continues to become ever more important for comparative treatment planning.

Modern radiation therapy treatment planning systems provide accurate three-dimensional dose distributions for each individual patient. The concept of an organ equivalent dose (OED) for radiation-induced cancer assumes that any two dose distributions in an organ are equivalent if they cause the same radiation-induced cancer incidence. In the city hospital study, the two operational parameters of the OED concept were the organ-specific cancer incidence rate at low doses, which is taken from the data of the atomic bomb survivors, and cell sterilization at higher doses. The effect of cell sterilization in various organs was estimated by analyzing the secondary cancer incidence data of patients with Hodgkin's disease who were treated with radiotherapy in between 1962 and 1993. The radiotherapy plans used at the time the patients had been treated were reconstructed on a fully segmented whole body CT scan. The dose distributions were calculated in individual organs for which cancer incidence data were available. The model parameter that described cell sterilization was obtained by analyzing the dose and cancer incidence rates for the individual organs.

The researchers found organ-specific cell radiosensitivities that varied from 0.017 for the mouth and pharynx up to 1.592 for the bladder. Using the two model parameters (organ-specific cancer incidence rate and the parameter characterizing cell sterilization), they found that the OED concept can be applied to any three-dimensional dose distribution to analyze cancer incidence. They concluded that the concept of OED presented in their investigation represents a first step in assessing the potential risk of secondary cancer induction after the clinical application of radiotherapy.


Posted by Hyscience at May 25, 2005 5:50 PM

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