Biological Effects of 224Ra

pp 168-181

Bone sarcoma to man from 224Ra, 226Ra, and 239Pu

  • C. W. MaysAffiliated withRadiobiology Laboratory, University of Utah Medical Center
  • , H. SpiessAffiliated withKinderpoliklinik Universität München

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The induction of bone sarcomas increases with both dose and protraction of 224Ra irradiation. From 224Ra data in man, we estimate that the risk coefficient ranges from about 40 up to 200 bone sarcomas/106 person·rad of average skeletal dose, depending on whether the 224Ra is given in a single injection or given weekly for several years. Limited experimental results in beagles and mice suggest that the risk per rad should be roughly similar for protracted skeletal irradiation from 239Pu and 224Ra, both of which decay to a large extent on bone surfaces. The risk coefficient for Long-lived 226Ra and 228Ra, which decay mostly within bone volume, is much smaller, and is estimated by us to lie between 6 and 53 bone sarcomas/106 person·rad.

Of special interest is the risk from the 224Ra therapy currently being used in Germany, of 10 weekly injections, each of 28 µCi 224Ra, which gives a cumulative average skeletal dose of 56 rad to a 70 kg adult. Present data from the 224Ra patients indicate that the resulting risk from induced bone sarcoma is between 0 and 0.5%