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Cardiovascular Risk from Exposure to Low-dose and Low-dose-rate Ionizing Radiation

Epidemiological evidence has established a link between cardiovascular disease and exposure of the heart and major vessels to doses above 500mGy of ionizing radiation. At lower doses the evidence for a detrimental effect is inconclusive. In part, this is due to the lack of appropriate epidemiological studies, coupled with lack of knowledge of the processes involved that is needed for construction of mathematical models.

The ProCardio consortium will study cardiovascular outcomes in childhood cancer survivors where the radiation doses given to the heart can be reconstructed. To maximise the information that can be drawn on this important issue, the Consortium aims to bring together the national studies already ongoing in Europe on existing cohorts of childhood cancer survivors and to set-up an additional cohort in Spain.

The Spanish cohort of childhood cancer survivors (Spanish Childhood Cancer Survivor Study [SPAIN-CCSS] will be established by ISGlobal (former CREAL) in collaboration with the Spanish National Childhood Cancer Registry (RNTI) and the Spanish Society of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (SEHOP). Following the set-up of SPAIN-CCSS, a case-control study of cardiovascular diseases will be conducted, nested within this cohort. Individual doses to the heart, carotid artery and the main vessels near the dorsal vertebra will be reconstructed from radiotherapy records. Resulting data will be pooled with those of other similar studies ongoing in France and UK, in order to investigate the risk of cardiovascular disease from low to moderate doses of radiation.