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Mechanistic models of carcinogenesis: An application to lung-cancer risk in the Mayak nuclear workers

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This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

Cancer modeling, Mathematical model, Epidemiology

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      Abstract

      Mechanistic multi-stage models are used to analyze lung-cancer mortality after Plutonium exposure in the Mayak-workers cohort. Besides the established two-stage model with clonal expansion, models with three mutation stages as well as a model with two distinct pathways to cancer are studied. The results suggest that three-stage models offer an improved description of the data. The best-fitting models point to a mechanism where radiation increases the rate of clonal expansion. This is interpreted in terms of changes in cell-cycle control mediated by bystander signaling or repopulation following cell killing. To elucidate the implications of the different models for radiation risk, several exposure scenarios are studied. Models with a radiation effect at an early stage show a delayed response and a pronounced drop-off with older ages at exposure. Moreover, the dose-response relationship is strongly nonlinear, revealing a marked increase above a critical dose.

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      Journal
      10.14293/P2199-8442.1.SOP-LIFE.PE9BAX.v1

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