Epidemiological studies of natural sources of radiation and childhood cancer: current challenges and future perspectives.

Mazzei-Abba, Antonella; Folly, Christophe L; Coste, Astrid; Wakeford, Richard; Little, Mark P; Raaschou-Nielsen, Ole; Kendall, Gerald M; Hémon, Denis; Nikkilä, Atte; Spix, Claudia; Auvinen, Anssi; Spycher, Ben D (2020). Epidemiological studies of natural sources of radiation and childhood cancer: current challenges and future perspectives. Journal of radiological protection, 40(1), R1-R23. IOP Publishing 10.1088/1361-6498/ab5a38

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Empirical estimation of cancer risks in children associated with low-dose ionizing radiation (<100 mSv) remains a challenge. The main reason is that the required combination of large sample sizes with accurate and comprehensive exposure assessment is difficult to achieve. An international scientific workshop "Childhood cancer and background radiation" organised by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Bern brought together researchers in this field to evaluate how epidemiological studies on background radiation and childhood cancer can best improve understanding of the effects of low-dose ionising radiation. This review summarises and evaluates the findings of the existing studies in the light of their methodological differences, identifies key limitations and challenges and proposes ways forward. Large childhood cancer registries, such as those in Great Britain, France and Germany, now allow the conducting of studies that should have sufficient statistical power to detect the effects predicted by standard risk models. Nevertheless, larger studies or pooled studies will be needed to investigate disease subgroups. The main challenge is to accurately assess children's individual exposure to radiation from natural sources and from other sources, as well as potentially confounding non-radiation exposures, in such large study populations. For this, the study groups should learn from each other to improve exposure estimation and develop new ways to validate exposure models with personal dosimetry.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Mazzei Abba, Antonella; Folly, Christophe Leopold; Coste, Astrid and Spycher, Ben

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

1361-6498

Publisher:

IOP Publishing

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Andrea Flükiger-Flückiger

Date Deposited:

26 Nov 2019 14:12

Last Modified:

31 May 2020 01:31

Publisher DOI:

10.1088/1361-6498/ab5a38

PubMed ID:

31751953

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Childhood cancer background ionising radiation exposure assessment record-based study

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.135621

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/135621

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