Bone cancer risk in mice exposed to 224Ra: protraction effects from promotion

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This paper analyzes data for the osteosarcoma incidence in life-time experiments of 224Ra injected mice with respect to the importance of initiating and promoting action of ionizing high LET-radiation. This was done with the biologically motivated two step clonal expansion (TSCE) model of tumor induction. Experimentally derived osteosarcoma incidence in 1,194 mice following exposure to 224Ra with different total radiation doses and different fractionation patterns were analyzed together with incidence data from 1,710 unirradiated control animals. Effects of radiation on the initiating event and on the clonal expansion rate, i.e. on promotion were found to be necessary to explain the observed patterns with this model. The data show a distinct inverse protraction effect at high doses, whereas at lower doses this effect becomes insignificant. Such a behavior is well reproduced in the proposed model: At dose rates above 6 mGy/day a longer exposure produces higher ERR per dose, while for lower rates the reverse is the case. The TSCE model permits the deduction of several kinetic parameters of a postulated two-step bone tumorigenesis process. Mean exposure rates of 0.13 mGy/day are found to double the baseline initiation rate. At rates above 100 mGy/day, the initiation rate decreases. The clonal expansion rate is doubled at 8 mGy/day, and it levels out at rates beyond 100 mGy/day.

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