Cancer Risks pp 143-153 | Cite as

Assessment of Cancer Risks Due to Ionizing Radiations

  • A. M. Kellerer
Conference paper


The enduring controversy on nuclear energy and the recent reactor accident have made ionizing radiation one of the most widely discussed tumor-inducing agents, although compared with major contributors, such as tobacco, its role appears to be minor. There is also little doubt that ionizing radiation is probably the one carcinogen which has been most extensively studied. X-rays were discovered in 1895, and 17 years passed before physicists began to understand their nature. But it took merely a few weeks before the first skin lesions were seen, and only 7 years before an X-ray induced skin cancer was recognized (Frieben 1902). In 1911 when Max von Laue obtained the first X-ray diffraction patterns in Munich, von Jagie et al. (1911) in Berlin reported a cluster of five leukemias in radiologists. The lesson was learned slowly. The hands of radiologists were less widely used as routine test objects for focusing the X-ray equipment, but scattered radiation or even the primary beam were not generally avoided, and before long leukemia became the professional affliction of radiologists.


Radiation Protection Risk Coefficient Collective Dose Relative Risk Model Radiation Carcinogenesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Chmelevsky D, Kellerer AM, Spiess H, Mays CW (1986) A proportional hazards analysis of bone sarcoma rates in German 244radium patients. In: Gössner W et al (eds) The radiobiology of radium and thorotrast. Urban and Schwarzenberg, München, pp 32–37Google Scholar
  2. Court Brown WM, Doll R (1956) The hazards to man of nuclear and allied radiations. Report of the Medical Research Council (Br) Appendix B, p 87. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Darby SC, Nakashima E, Kato H (1985) A parallel analysis of cancer mortality among atomic bomb survivors and patients with ankylosing spondylitis given X-ray therapy. JNCI 75:1–21PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ellett WH, Christy RF, Lowder WM (1985) A new dosimetry for a-bomb survivors. Radiat Prot Dosimetry 13:311–318Google Scholar
  5. Failla G (1932) Radium protection. Radiology 19:12–21Google Scholar
  6. Frieben A (1902) Demonstration eines Cancroids des rechten Handrückens, das sich nach langdauernder Einwirkung von Röntgenstrahlen entwickelt hatte. Fortschr Geb Röntgenstr 6:106Google Scholar
  7. ICRP (1977) Annals of the ICRP, Publication 26. Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection. Pergamon, Oxford New York FrankfurtGoogle Scholar
  8. ICRU Report 40 (1986) The quality factor in radiation protection. International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements. Bethesda, MdGoogle Scholar
  9. Kellerer AM, Rossi HH (1982) Biophysical aspects of radiation carcinogenesis. In: Becker FF (ed) Cancer, a comprehensive treatise, vol 1, 2nd edn. Plenum, New York, pp 569–616Google Scholar
  10. Lewis EB (1957) Leukemia and ionizing radiation. Science 125:965–972PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lewis EB (1963) Leukemia, multiple myeloma, and aplastic anemia in American radiologists. Science 142:1492–1494PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Loewe WE, Mendelsohn E (1981) Revised dose estimates for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Health Phys 41:663–666PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Mays CW, Spiess H, Chmelevsky D, Kellerer AM (1986) Bone sarcoma cumulative tumor rates in patients injected with 224Ra. In: Gössner W et al (eds) The radiobiology of radium and thorotrast. Urban and Schwarzenberg, München, pp 27–31Google Scholar
  14. Muller HJ (1927) Artificial transmutation of the gene. Science 66:84–87PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council (1980) The effects on populations of exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation. Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  16. Rossi HH, Kellerer AM (1974) The validity of risk estimates of leukemia incidence based on Japanese data. Radiat Res 58:131–140PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rossi HH, Mays CW (1978) Leukemia risk from neutrons. Health Phys 34:353–360PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rundo J, Keane AT, Lucas HF, Schlenker RA, Stebbings JH, Stehney AF (1986) Current (1984) status of the study of 226Ra and 228Ra in humans at the Center for Human Radiobiology. In: Gössner W et al (eds) The radiobiology of radium and thorotrast. Urban and Schwarzenberg, München, pp 14–21Google Scholar
  19. Smith PG, Doll R (1982) Mortality among patients with ankylosing spondylitis after a single course of treatment with X-rays. Br Med J 284:449–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. UNSCEAR Report (1977) Sources and effects of ionizing radiation. United Nations, General Assembly, 32nd Session, Supplement No 40 (A/32/40) UN, NYGoogle Scholar
  21. van Kaick G, Muth H, Kaul A, Wesch H, Immich H, Liebermann D, Lorenz D, Lorenz WJ, Lührs H, Scheer KE, Wagner G, Wegener K (1986) Report on the German thorotrast study. In: Gössner W et al (eds) The radiobiology of radium and thorotrast. Urban and Schwarzenberg, München, pp 114–118Google Scholar
  22. von Jagie N, Schwarz G, von Siebenrock L (1911) Blutbefunde bei Röntgenologen. Berl Klin Wochenschr 48:1220–1222Google Scholar
  23. Wick RR, Chmelevsky D, Gössner W (1986) 224Ra: risk to bone and haematopoietic tissue in ankylosing spondylitis patients. In: Gössner W et al (eds) The radiobiology of radium and thorotrast. Urban and Schwarzenberg, München, pp 38–44Google Scholar
  24. Yoshimoto Y, Kellerer AM, Rossi HH, Nakashima E, Kato H (1981) Coordinate plots depicting basic data on members of the life span study sample. Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Research Protocol, RERF RP 10–81, 1–3Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Kellerer

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations