Induction of malignant bone tumors in radium-224 patients: risk estimates based on the improved dosimetry.


Mainly between 1945 and 1955, several thousand German patients with ankylosing spondylitis, tuberculosis, or--in a few cases--other diseases received multiple injections of the short-lived alpha-particle emitter radium-224. In the early 1950s, the follow-up of 899 patients was initiated, and the study has continued since then. It includes most of the high-dose patients and nearly all of those treated as children or juveniles, i.e. under the age of 21. In the study cohort, 56 malignant bone tumors occurred in a temporal wave that peaked 8 years after exposure, whereas less than one case would have been expected during the follow-up. Most of the malignant bone tumors were osteosarcomas and fibrous-histiocytic sarcomas. A new analysis has now been performed, primarily because an improved dosimetry resulted in modified bone surface doses, especially for those treated at younger ages. A significant increase in bone tumor risk with decreasing age at exposure is now demonstrated. The earlier finding of an inverse protraction factor is confirmed. In the new formulation, the dependence on dose rate or duration applies only at higher doses; i.e., the initial slope of the dose dependence is unrelated to dose rate or exposure duration, which is in contrast to earlier analyses but is in agreement with microdosimetric considerations and general radiobiological experience.


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@article{Nekolla2000InductionOM, title={Induction of malignant bone tumors in radium-224 patients: risk estimates based on the improved dosimetry.}, author={Elke Anna Nekolla and M Kreisheimer and Albrecht M. Kellerer and M W Kuse-Isingschulte and Wolfgang Goessner and Heinz Spiess}, journal={Radiation research}, year={2000}, volume={153 1}, pages={93-103} }