Extrapolation of the relative risk of radiogenic neoplasms across mouse strains and to man

Radiat Res. 1988 May;114(2):331-53.


We have examined two interrelated questions: is the susceptibility for radiogenic cancer related to the natural incidence, and are the responses of cancer induction by radiation described better by an absolute or a relative risk model. Also, we have examined whether it is possible to extrapolate relative risk estimates across species, from mice to humans. The answers to these questions were obtained from determinations of risk estimates for nine neoplasms in female and male C3Hf/Bd and C57BL/6 Bd mice and from data obtained from previous experiments with female BALB/c Bd and RFM mice. The mice were exposed to 137Cs gamma rays at 0.4 Gy/min to doses of 0, 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 Gy. When tumors that were considered the cause of death were examined, both the control and induced mortality rates for the various tumors varied considerably among sexes and strains. The results suggest that in general susceptibility is determined by the control incidence. The relative risk model was significantly superior in five of the tumor types: lung, breast, liver, ovary, and adrenal. Both models appeared to fit myeloid leukemia and Harderian gland tumors, and neither provided good fits for thymic lymphoma and reticulum cell sarcoma. When risk estimates of radiation-induced tumors in humans and mice were compared, it was found that the relative risk estimates for lung, breast, and leukemia were not significantly different between humans and mice. In the case of liver tumors, mice had a higher risk than humans. These results indicate that the relative risk model is the appropriate approach for risk estimation for a number of tumors. The apparent concordance of relative risk estimates between humans and mice for the small number of cancers examined encourages us to undertake further studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced* / mortality
  • Risk
  • Species Specificity