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EPI-CT: European cohort study of cancer risk after paediatric computed tomography
*L Krille, University Medical Centre Mainz
Keywords: computed tomography, cancer risk, children
The worldwide increasing use of paediatric computed tomography (CT) has led to increasing concerns regarding the potential subsequent effects from exposure to ionizing radiation. The collaborative EPI-CT project aims to studying, epidemiologically, the risk of cancer and the underlying biological effects in a large international cohort study.
After a pilot study (CHILD-MED-RAD) that assessed the feasibility to study, with optimal methods, potential cancer risk in relation to CT exposure in childhood, the EPI-CT study was launched in 2011 in nine European countries. Based on a common protocol, national cohorts are being assembled retrospectively and prospectively until 2013. We expect to include about one million individuals from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK. For each cohort member, individual organ doses will be estimated based on Monte Carlo computer simulations using hybrid mathematical phantoms of various ages. Linkage with national cancer registries will allow to evaluate cancer incidence and mortality risks as well as dose response relationships. In parallel, dose optimisation strategies will be proposed and biomarkers of CT exposure and sensitivity to radiation will be tested in blood and saliva.
Study methodology, including recently developed data abstraction from picture archiving systems techniques, will be presented.
This is the largest, and the most statistically powerful, study of paediatric CT scans undertaken to date. It will provide direct epidemiological evidence on the potential cancer risk from exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation exposure. Results will contribute to radiation protection, dose optimisation and low dose radiation research and are awaited in 2015. The project is supported by the EU (grant agreement n°269912).