Thyroid Cancer pp 225-235 | Cite as

Thyroid Cancer in Chernobyl Children

  • C. Reiners
  • J. Biko
  • E. P. Demidchik
  • V. Drozd


It has been well known for 50 years that exposure of the thyroid to ionizing radiation in childhood produces an appreciable cancer risk [7]. The thyroid gland and the bone marrow are considered to be the most radiosensitive cancer sites [24]. Concerning thyroid cancer, many epidemiological studies in populations of children treated with external radiotherapy for benign or malignant lesions in the head and neck region have been published [14, 24, 25, 29, 30]. The diverse indications for treatment have included skin hemangioma, enlarged thymus and tonsils, lymphoid hyperplasia, tuberculous adenitis, acne, and tinea capitis. A pooled analysis [24] using the data of cohort studies in individuals exposed to acute external ionizing radiation before the age of 20 years found an average excess relative risk of 7.7 per Gy [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.9–12], while the excess absolute risk was 4.4 per 104 person-year Gy (95% CI 1.9–10). A linear dose-response function was found to fit the data well; the risk was about 30% lower for fractionated doses than for unfractionated exposure. Almost no thyroid cancers prior to 5 years after irradiation have been reported; the pooled analysis suggested that the excess relative risk per Gy was greatest about 15 years after exposure, but was still elevated 40 or more years after irradiation [24].


Thyroid Cancer Thyroid Carcinoma Papillary Thyroid Cancer Thyroid Tumor Differentiate Thyroid Cancer 
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. 1.
    Akiba S, Lubin J, Ezaki E, Ron E, Ishimaru T, Asona Y, Shimizu Y, Kato H (1991) Thyroid cancer incidence among atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1958–1979. Technical Report TR 5–91, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima, JapanGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brenner DJ (1999) The relative effectiveness of exposure to 1311 at low doses. Health Phys 76: 180–185PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Danese D, Gardini A, Farsetti A, Sciacchitano S, Andreoli M, Pontecorvi A (1997) Thyroid carcinoma in children and adolescents. Eur J Pediatr 156: 190–194PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dottorini ME, Vignati A, Mazzucchelli L, Lomuscio G, Colombo L (1997) Differentiated thyroid carcinoma in children and adolescents: a 37-year experience in 85 patients. J Nucl Med 38: 669–675PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Demidchik EP, Mrochek A, Demidchik Yu, Vorontsova T, Cherstvoy E, Kenigsberg J, Rebeko V, Sugenoya A (1999) Thyroid cancer promoted by radiation in young people of Belarus (clinical and epidemiological features). In: Thomas G, Karaoglou A, Williams ED (eds) Radiation and thyroid cancer. World Scientific, Singapore New Jersey London Hong Kong, pp 51–54Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Demidchik EP (2000) Personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Duffy BJ, Fitzgerald P (1950) Thyroid cancer in childhood and adolescence. Report of 28 cases. J Clin Endocr Metab 10: 1296–1308PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Epsthein OE (2000) Personal communicationGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Farahati J, Parlowsky T, Mäder U, Reiners C, Bucsky P (1998) Differentiated thyroid cancer in children and adolescents. Langenbeck’s Arch Surg 383: 235–239PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Farahati J, Reiners C, Demidchik EP (1999) Is the UICC/AJCC classification of primary tumor in childhood thyroid carcinoma valid? J Nucl Med 40: 21–25Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Franceschi S, Boyle P, Maisonneuve P, La Vecchia C, Burt AD, Kerr DJ, MacFarlane GJ (1993) The epidemiology of thyroid carcinoma. Crit Rev Oncogenesis 4: 25–52PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gorlin JB, Sallan SE (1990) Thyroid cancer in childhood. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 19: 649–662PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hall P, Holm LE (1997) Late consequences of radioiodine for diagnosis and therapy in Sweden. Thyroid 7: 205–208PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hall P, Holm LE (1998) Radiation-associated thyroid cancer–facts and fiction. Acta Oncol 37: 325–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Heidenreich WF, Kenigsberg J, Jacob P, Buglova E, Goulko G, Paretzke HG, Demidchik EP, Golovneva A (1999) Time trends of thyroid cancer incidence in Belarus after the Chernobyl accident. Radiat Res 151: 617–625PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    International Atomic Energy Agency (1996) One decade after Chernobyl: summing-up the consequences of the accident. IAEA and WHO, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jacob P (1998) Thyroid cancer risk to children calculated. Nature 392: 31–32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jacob P, Kenigsberg Y, Zvonova I, Goulko G, Buglova E, Heidenreich WF, Golovneva A, Bratilova AA, Drozdovitch V, Kruk J, Pochtennaja GT, Balonov M, Demidchik EP, Paretzke HG (1999) Childhood exposure due to the Chernobyl accident and thyroid cancer risk in contaminated areas of Belarus and Russia. Br J Cancer 80: 1461–1469PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jacob P, Kenigsberg Y, Goulko G, Buglova E, Gering F, Golovneva A, Kruk J, Demidchik EP (2000) Thyroid cancer risk in Belarus after the Chernobyl accident: comparison with external exposures. Radiat Environ Biophys 39: 25–31PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Moir CR, Telander RL (1994) Papillary carcinoma of the thyroid in children. Semin Pediatr Surg 3: 182–187PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pacini F, Vorontsova T, Demidchik EP, Molinaro E, Agate L, Romei C, Shavrova E, Cherstvoy ED, Ivashkevitch Y, Kuchinskaya E, Schlumberger M, Ronga G, Filesi M, Pinchera A (1997) Post-Chernobyl thyroid carcinoma in Belarus children and adolescents: comparison with naturally occurring thyroid carcinoma in Italy and France. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 82: 3563–3569PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reiners C, Perret G, Sonnenschein W, John-Mikolajewski V (1994) Radiation reactions to the lung after radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer. In: Herrmann T, Reiners C, Messerschmidt O (eds) Strahlenschutz in Forschung und Praxis, vol 36. Gustav Fischer, Stuttgart Jena New York, pp 139–146Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Reiners C, Biko J, Kruglova N, Demidchik EP (1996) Therapy of thyroid carcinoma in children from Belarus after the Chernobyl accident. In: Nauman J, Glinoer D, Braverman LE, Hostalek U (eds) The thyroid and iodine. Merck European Thyroid Symposium, Warsaw, 16–18 May 1996. Schattauer, Stuttgart New York, pp 89–97Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ron E, Lubin JH, Shore RE, Mabuchi K, Modan B, Pottern LM, Schneider AB, Tucker MA, Boice JD (1995) Thyroid cancer after exposure to external radiation: a pooled analysis of seven studies. Radiat Res 141: 259–277PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ron E, Schneider AB (1999) External radiation and the thyroid cancer risk in humans. In: Thomas G, Karaoglou A, Williams ED (eds) Radiation and thyroid cancer. World Scientific, Singapore New Jersey London Hong Kong, pp 5–12Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Samaan NA, Schultz PN, Ordonez NG, Hickey RC, Johnston DA (1987) A comparison of thyroid carcinoma in those who have and have not had head and neck irradiation in childhood. J Clin Endocrinol 64: 219–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Samuel AM, Rajashekharrao B, Shah DH (1998) Pulmonary metastases in children and adolescents with well-differentiated thyroid cancer. J Nucl Med 39: 1531–1536PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the USA 1973–1994 (1998) National Cancer Institute, BethesdaGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Shore RE (1992) Issues and epidemiological evidence regarding radiation-induced thyroid cancer. Radiat Res 131: 98–111PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Shore RE (1996) Human thyroid cancer induction by ionizing radiation: summary of studies based on external irradiation and radioactive iodines. In: Karaoglou A, Desmet G, Kelly GN, Menzel HG (eds) European Commission and the Belarus, Russian and Ukrainian Ministries on Chernobyl Affairs, Emergency Situations and Health: the radiological consequences of the Chernobyl accident. European Commission, Brussels, pp 669–675Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tronko M, Bogdanova T, Komisarenko I, Rybakov S, Kovalenko A, Epsthein O, Oliynik V, Tereshchenko V, Likhtarev I, Kairo I, Chepurnoy M (1999) The post-Chernobyl incidence of childhood thyroid cancer in Ukraine. In: Thomas G, Karaoglou A, Williams ED (eds) Radiation and thyroid cancer. World Scientific, Singapore New Jersey London Hong Kong, pp 61–69Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Tsyb AF, Shakhtarin, Lushnikov EF, Stepanenko VF, Snykov VP, Parshkov EM, Trofimova SF (1999) Development of cancer and non-cancer thyroid diseases in children and adolescents after the Chernobyl accident. In: Thomas G, Karaoglou A, Williams ED (eds) Radiation and thyroid cancer. World Scientific, Singapore New Jersey London Hong Kong, pp 79–87Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Vassilopoulou-Sellin R, Klein MJ, Smith TH, Samaan NA, Frankenthaler RA, Goepfert H, Cangir A, Haynie TP (1993) Pulmonary metastases in children and young adults with differentiated thyroid cancer. Cancer 71: 1348–1352PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Vassilopoulou-Sellin R, Goepfert H, Raney B, Schultz PN (1998) Differentiated thyroid cancer in children and adolescents: clinical outcome and mortality after long-term follow-up. Head Neck 20: 549–555PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Williams D (1996) Editorial: thyroid cancer and the Chernobyl accident. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 81: 6–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Winship T, Rosvoll RV (1970) Thyroid carcinoma in childhood: final report on a 20-year study. Clin Proc Child Hosp ( Washington, DC ) 26: 327–349Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Zanzonico PB (2000) Age-dependent thyroid absorbed doses for radiobiologically significant radioisotopes of iodine. Health Phys 78: 60–67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Reiners
  • J. Biko
  • E. P. Demidchik
  • V. Drozd

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations