, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 275-286,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 05 Jun 2009

A new view of radiation-induced cancer: integrating short- and long-term processes. Part II: second cancer risk estimation


As the number of cancer survivors grows, prediction of radiotherapy-induced second cancer risks becomes increasingly important. Because the latency period for solid tumors is long, the risks of recently introduced radiotherapy protocols are not yet directly measurable. In the accompanying article, we presented a new biologically based mathematical model, which, in principle, can estimate second cancer risks for any protocol. The novelty of the model is that it integrates, into a single formalism, mechanistic analyses of pre-malignant cell dynamics on two different time scales: short-term during radiotherapy and recovery; long-term during the entire life span. Here, we apply the model to nine solid cancer types (stomach, lung, colon, rectal, pancreatic, bladder, breast, central nervous system, and thyroid) using data on radiotherapy-induced second malignancies, on Japanese atomic bomb survivors, and on background US cancer incidence. Potentially, the model can be incorporated into radiotherapy treatment planning algorithms, adding second cancer risk as an optimization criterion.

An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00411-011-0378-5.