The Role of Radiation Induced Injury on Lung Cancer
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This manuscript evaluates the role of cell killing, tissue disorganization, and tissue damage on the induction of lung cancer following low dose rate radiation exposures from internally deposited radioactive materials. Beagle dogs were exposed by inhalation to 90Y, 91Y, 144Ce, or 90Sr in fused clay particles. Dogs lived out their life span with complete pathology conducted at the time of death. The radiation dose per cell turnover was characterized and related to the cause of death for each animal. Large doses per cell turnover resulted in acute death from lung damage with extensive cell killing, tissue disorganization, chronic inflammatory disease, fibrosis, and pneumonitis. Dogs with lower doses per cell turnover developed a very high frequency of lung cancer. As the dose per cell turnover was further decreased, no marked tissue damage and no significant change in either life span or lung cancer frequency was observed. Radiation induced tissue damage and chronic inflammatory disease results in high cancer frequencies in the lung. At doses where a high frequency of chromosome damage and mutations would be predicted to occur there was no decrease in life span or increase in lung cancer. Such research suggests that cell killing and tissue damage and the physiological responses to that damage are important mechanisms in radiation induced lung cancer.