Standard methods for risk assessments resulting from human exposures to mixed radiation fields in Space consisting of different particle types and energies rely upon quality factors. These are generally defined as a function of linear energy transfer (LET) and are assumed to be proportional to the risk. In this approach, it is further assumed that the risks for single exposures from each of the radiation types add linearly. Although risks of cancer from acute exposures to photon radiations have been measured in humans, quality factors for protons and ions of heavier atomic mass are generally inferred from animal and/or cellular data. Because only a small amount of data exists for such particles, this group has been examining tumourigenesis initiated by energetic protons and iron ions. In this study, 741 female Sprague - Dawley rats were irradiated or sham irradiated at approximately 60 days of age with 250 MeV protons, 1 GeV/nucleon iron ions or both protons and iron ions. The results suggest that the risk of mammary tumours in the rats sequentially irradiated with 1 GeV/nucleon 56Fe ions and 250 MeV protons is less than additive. These data in conjunction with earlier results further suggest that risk assessments in terms of only mean LETs of the primary cosmic rays may be insufficient to accurately evaluate the relative risks of each type of particle in a radiation field of mixed radiation qualities.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Physics in medicine and biology|
|State||Published - Aug 21 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging