Case Report

Secondary Cancer Risk of Radiotherapy and Imaging Examination for Two Different Malignancies in One Patient


Purpose: Radiotherapy (RT), which is considered one of the critical treatments for cancer patients is also known as adjuvant therapy and palliative care, and can be attempted alone or concurrent with chemotherapy. Although RT reduces the risk of recurrence, the scattered dose may enhance the risk of secondary cancer induction; this is raising some challenges in clinical practice. To the best of our knowledge, few studies to date have assessed such effects of brain cancer adjuvant radiotherapy.

Materials and Methods: We estimated the RT-induced risk of secondary cancer for a 45-year-old patient who had undergone radiotherapy of the head and pelvis with a 6 MV photon beam in 15 and 10 sessions, respectively. The absorbed dose by the thyroid, breast, eye lenses, region overlying ovaries, and parotids was measured using Thermoluminescent Dosimeters (TLD). Since the patient was scanned before radiotherapy, it was decided to calculate their risk as well. To evaluate the cancer risk, radiobiological models for Excess Absolute Risk (EAR), as well as Excess Relative Risk (ERR) published by the Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) in report VII, were implemented. This study thus aimed to estimate the Risk of Exposure-Induced Death (REID) and assess the radiation dose delivered to patients from Computed Tomography (CT) scans and common diagnostic nuclear medicine examinations.

Results: The mean risk of secondary cancer for sensitive organs was calculated 3 years after radiotherapy. The highest estimated ERR was related to the region overlying right and left ovaries for pelvic radiotherapy (47.82) and (51.17), and the next highest EAR followed by right and left eye lenses for brain radiotherapy (18.09) and (15.43), respectively. In addition, other cancers arising from CT scans had the highest REID values for solid cancer (0.0015) and bone scans revealed the highest REID values for other cancers (0.00121).

Conclusion: Calculating the corresponding risks of RT is of great significance for the patients in procedural change. Choosing proper field sizes and adapted techniques to avoid excessive doses to healthy organs can thus be a great assistance in this regard.

IssueVol 10 No 4 (2023) QRcode
SectionCase Report(s)
Radiotherapy Cancer Risk Thermoluminescent Dosimeters Organ Dose

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Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Zare MH, Masjedi H, Tabatabaee F, Rahbar Yazdi S, Shabani M, Broomand MA. Secondary Cancer Risk of Radiotherapy and Imaging Examination for Two Different Malignancies in One Patient. Frontiers Biomed Technol. 2023;10(4):496-502.