Advertisement

Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 463–468 | Cite as

The European strategy on low dose risk research and the role of radiation quality according to the recommendations of the “ad hoc” High Level and Expert Group (HLEG)

  • Mauro Belli
  • Andrea Ottolenghi
  • Wolfgang Weiss
Short Communication

Abstract

Health effects of exposures at low doses and/or low dose rates are recognized as requiring intensive research activity to answer several questions. To address these issues at a strategic level in Europe, with the perspective of integrating national and EC efforts (in particular those within the Euratom research programmes), a “European High Level and Expert Group (HLEG) on low dose risk research” was formed and carried out its work during 2008. The Group produced a report published by the European Commission in 2009 and available on the website http://www.hleg.de. The more important research issues identified by the HLEG were as follows: (a) the shape of dose–response for cancer; (b) the tissue sensitivities for cancer induction; (c) the individual variability in cancer risk; (d) the effects of radiation quality (type); (e) the risks from internal radiation exposure; and (f) the risks of, and dose response relationships for, non-cancer diseases. In this paper, the radiation quality issues are especially considered, since they are closely linked to health problems and related radioprotection in space and in emerging radiotherapeutic techniques (i.e., hadrontherapy). The peculiar features of low-fluence, high-LET radiation exposures can question in particular the validity of the radiation-weighting factor (w R ) approach. Specific strategies are therefore needed to assess such risks. A multi-scale/systems biology approach, based on mechanistic studies coordinated with molecular-epidemiological studies, is considered essential to elucidate differences and similarities between specific effects of low- and high-LET radiation.

Keywords

Linear Energy Transfer Radiation Quality Galactic Cosmic Radiation Protracted Exposure Strategic Research Agenda 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Several parts of this paper reproduce or are based on the HLEG report. The authors would like to acknowledge the following HLEG composition. Formative members: W Weiss (BfS, Germany, chair), M Belli (ISS, Italy), G.N Kelly (EC), P. Legrain (CEA, France), J. Repussard (IRSN, France), S. Salomaa (STUK, Finland), H. Walker (DH, United Kingdom);Co-opted experts: M. Atkinson (HMGU, Germany), E. Cardis (CREAL, Spain), R. Cox (HPA, United Kingdom), A. Elliot (NHS, United Kingdom), J. Hall (Institut Curie, France), M. Harms-Ringdahl (Stockholm University, Sweden), J-R. Jourdain (IRSN, France), A. Ottolenghi (Pavia University, Italy); Technical support for the Secretariat: D.T. Goodhead. At the first stage of the work M.H. Barcellos-Hoff provided useful information about the US DOE Low Dose Program.

References

  1. Anderson RM, Stevens DL, Goodhead DT (2002) M-FISH analysis shows that complex chromosome aberrations induced by a-particle tracks are cumulative products of localized rearrangements. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99(19):12167–12172CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Badhwar GD (1997) Shielding strategies for human space exploration, NASA CP-3360. Springfield, VAGoogle Scholar
  3. Desai N, Davis E, O’Neill P, Durante M, Cucinotta FA, Wu H (2005) Immunofluorescence detection of clustered γ-H2AX foci induced by HZE-particle radiation. Radiat Res 164(4):518–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Durante M, Cucinotta FA (2008) Heavy ion carcinogenesis and human space exploration. Nat Rev Cancer 8:465–472. doi: 10.1038/nrc2391 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. HLEG (2009) High level and expert group on european low dose risk research. http://www.hleg.de. High level and expert group report on european low dose risk research—Radiation protection. European Commission EUR 23884, 2009
  6. ICRP (2005) Low dose extrapolation of radiation-related cancer risk. ICRP Publication 99, Annals of the ICRP 35(4), Elsevier Science Ltd, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  7. ICRP (2007) The 2007 Recommendations of the international commission on radiological protection. ICRP Publication 103. Annals of the ICRP 37(2–4), Elsevier Science Ltd, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. NAS/NRC (2006) Health risks from exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation: BEIR VII phase 2. Board on Radiation Effects Research. National Research Council of the National Academies, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  9. Schimmerling W (1992) Radiobiological problems in space. An overview. Radiat Environ Biophys 31:197–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Schimmerling W, Cucinotta FA (2006) Dose and dose rate effectiveness of space radiation. Radiat Prot Dosim 122(1–4):349–353Google Scholar
  11. UNSCEAR (1988) United Nations scientific committee on the effects of atomic radiation. Sources, effects and risks of ionizing radiation. 1988 Report to the General Assembly with Annexes, United Nations, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. UNSCEAR (2000) United Nations scientific committee on the effects of atomic radiation. Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation, vol. II Effects. UNSCEAR 2000 Report to the General Assembly with Scientific Annexes, United Nations, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mauro Belli
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea Ottolenghi
    • 3
    • 4
  • Wolfgang Weiss
    • 5
  1. 1.Istituto Superiore di SanitàRomeItaly
  2. 2.INFN Sezione Roma-gr.coll.SanitàRomeItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Fisica Nucleare e TeoricaUniversità di PaviaPaviaItaly
  4. 4.INFN Sezione di PaviaPaviaItaly
  5. 5.Bundesamt für StrahlenschutzNeuherbergGermany

Personalised recommendations