Radiation Carcinogenesis

  • John B. Storer
Part of the Cancer, A Comprehensive Treatise book series (C)


Ionizing radiation in sufficiently high dosage acts as a complete carcinogen in that it serves as both initiator and promoter. Further, cancers can be induced in nearly any tissue or organ of man or experimental animals by the proper choice of radiation dose and exposure schedule. Principal interest in radiation as an environmental carcinogen is not at very high dosage levels, however, since relatively few individuals receive such high dosages and in most cases where they do the radiation is received as localized treatment for a malignant tumor. Additionally, radiation delivered to the entire body, as is usually the case for environmental exposure, is acutely fatal (within weeks) at doses higher than a few hundred rads. For these reasons, the major goal of studies on radiation as a carcinogen is the determination of its cancerogenic effectiveness in the extremely low to moderate dosage range. Because radiation can be easily delivered in precisely measured quantities and because it is a fairly potent carcinogen, it has also been widely used as an experimental tool in cancer research.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Storer
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

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