Radio diagnosis

The study find that the Low doses of radiation equivalent to three CT Scans, which are considered safe, give cancer-capable cells a competitive advantage over normal cells in healthy tissue, scientists have discovered. Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge studied the effects of low doses of radiation in the oesophagus of mice. The team found that low doses of radiation increase the number of cells with mutations in p53, a well-known genetic change associated with cancer.

Equivalent to three CT Scans

However, giving the mice an antioxidant before radiation promoted the growth of healthy cells; which out competed and replaced the p53 mutant cells. The results; published today (18 July) in Cell Stem Cell show that low doses of radiation promote the spread of cancer-capable cells in healthy tissue. Therefore Researchers recomme that this risk should be considere in assessing radiation safety. Because The study also offers the possibility of developing non-toxic preventative measures to cut the risk of developing cancer by bolstering our healthy cells to outcompete and eradicate cancer-capable cells.

Every day we are expose to various sources of envisioning radiation, including natural radiation in soil and rock, and important medical procedures like CT scans and x-rays. But Low doses of radiation; such as the exposure from medical imaging; are considered safe as they cause little DNA damage and apparently minimal effect on long-term health. Until now; other effects of exposure to low levels of radiation have remained hidden; meaning understanding the true risk associated with low doses of radiation has been difficult.

Cancer and x-rays

Researchers have previously shown that our normal tissues, like skin; are battlefields where mutant cells compete for space against healthy cells. We all have cancer-capable mutant cells in healthy tissues; including those with p53 mutations, which increase in number as we age; yet very few eventually go on to form cancer.

In this new study, researchers show that low doses of radiation weigh the odds in favour of cancer-capable mutant cells in the oesophagus. The Sanger Institute researchers and their collaborators gave mice a 50 milligray dose of radiation; equivalent to three or four CT scans. As a result; the p53 mutant cells spread and outcompeted healthy cells.

Dr. David Fernandez-Antoran, first author from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said: “Our bodies are the set of ‘Game of Clones’ – a continuous battle for space between normal and mutant cells. Therefore We show that even low doses of radiation; similar to three ‘ worth; can weigh the odds in favour of cancer-capable mutant cells. We’ve uncover an additional potential cancer risk as a result of radiation that needs to be recognise.”