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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-34

Mechanism of carcinogenesis after exposure of actinide radionuclides: Emerging concepts and missing links


1 Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Amit Kumar
Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
Badri N Pandey
Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-0168.199304

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Radiation carcinogenesis may be associated with external and/or internal sources of radiation exposure during accidental, occupational, or diagnostic/therapeutic conditions. Most of the radiation carcinogenic events are established after acute doses of low linear energy transfer external radiation. Moreover, the carcinogenic effects of internalized radioisotopes are also reported at their acute/chronic doses. In this regard, actinide radionuclides (like 238U, 239Pu, 232Th, and 241Am) are of great importance as fuel material or waste generated during nuclear power production. These radionuclides may result in incidence of cancer when internalized at high doses while accidental or occupation exposure. Even though the basic carcinogenic mechanism after external or internal radiation exposure remains the same, the magnitude of systemic or target specific radiation effects may vary in these radiation exposure conditions. The majority of the studies investigating biological, carcinogenic, and other health effects of actinide radionuclides are limited only up to quantification of these effects without much mechanistic insights. Moreover, the radiobiological processes, such as bystander effect, genomic instability, and adaptive response, governing the cellular radiosensitivity of targeted/nontargeted cells also need to be studied in the context of carcinogenesis after actinide radionuclides internalization. The review aims to highlight the emerging radiobiological concepts and missing links about actinide radionuclides-induced carcinogenesis. In addition, an overview has been presented about biological and health effects of major actinide radionuclides.


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