EuroSafe Imaging 2020
Action 9 - Facilitation of research in advanced topics of radiation protection, Radiation Protection, Action 13 - Stakeholder engagement and collaboration, Radioprotection / Radiation dose
E. Cardis, G. Frija, European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR)
Description of activity and work performed
The project is close to completing its third year and has achieved several major milestones including the setup and testing of a central DICOM repository for dosimetry, imaging meta-data, and biobanking. Data collection efforts for the first-ever establishment of European DRLs for specific applications of CT in nuclear medicine have just been finalised. Also, a fast Monte Carlo code MC-GPU has been validated to determine organ dose and skin dose distribution for interventional procedures. Moreover, the assessment of low dose radiation exposure from I-131 radioiodine ablation therapy of thyroid cancer is in full swing, laying the foundation for the first epidemiological investigations within nuclear medicine.
MEDIRAD has also significantly progressed towards improving the understanding of low-dose ionising radiation risks associated with major medical radiation procedures, by combining for the first time, clinical and preclinical studies to get further insight into the biological mechanisms and biomarkers that may play a role in the development and prediction of cardiac complications, and to use these insights for the development of predictive models. The clinical studies EARLY-HEART and BRACE are thus close to completion. Furthermore, the pre-clinical studies to identify mechanisms of radiation-induced cardiovascular toxicity are ongoing and an experimental rodent model for the analysis of it has been established.
The first-ever nested case control study in a cohort of CT-scan exposed individuals, commenced its study into the long-term effects of the associated low doses on cancer risks in children. In this study, the interaction between genetic and epigenetic factors along with radiation dosage on cancer risk will be assessed, with the results having the potential to significantly impact the medical radiation protection field at large.
In addition, the stakeholder forum and a consensus building infrastructure for the development of the recommendations – based on the scientific evidence emerging from MEDIRAD’s research results – have been established, and work on the recommendations has started with the aim to enhance medical radiation protection in Europe.