A stochastic two-stage cancer model with clonal expansion was used to investigate the potential impact on human lung cancer incidence of some aspects of the hormesis mechanisms suggested by Feinendegen (Health Phys. 52 663–669, 1987). The model was applied to low doses of low-LET radiation delivered at low dose rates. Non-linear responses arise in the model because radiologically induced adaptations in radical scavenging and DNA repair may reduce the biological consequences of DNA damage formed by endogenous processes and ionizing radiation. Sensitivity studies were conducted to identify critical model inputs and to help define the changes in cellular defense mechanisms necessary to produce a lifetime probability for lung cancer that deviates from a linear no-threshold (LNT) type of response. Our studies suggest that lung cancer risk predictions may be very sensitive to the induction of DNA damage by endogenous processes. For doses comparable to background radiation levels, endogenous DNA damage may account for as much as 50 to 80% of the predicted lung cancers. For an additional lifetime dose of 1 Gy from low- LET radiation, endogenous processes may still account for as much as 20% of the predicted cancers (Fig. 2). When both repair and scavengers are considered as inducible, radiation must enhance DNA repair and radical scavenging in excess of 30 to 40% of the baseline values to produce lifetime probabilities for lung cancer outside the range expected for endogenous processes and background radiation.
Schöllnberger, H; Steward, RD; and Mitchel, REJ
"LOW-LET-INDUCED RADIOPROTECTIVE MECHANISMS WITHIN A STOCHASTIC TWO-STAGE CANCER MODEL,"
Dose-Response: An International Journal:
3, Article 8.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dose_response/vol3/iss3/8