E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

Retrospective single institution study of pre-diagnostic medical radiation exposure in children with blood cancers, 1998-2013 (#1207)

Robin Rohrer 1
  1. Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA, United States


 Pre-natal or early childhood exposure to medical radiation used in diagnosis or treatment is an identified risk for childhood cancers but can be difficult to document.  The author developed a family questionnaire/interview form to identify possible exposures.


 This retrospective study examines pre-natal and early childhood medical radiation exposure in a cohort of children diagnosed with a lymphoma or leukemia  from 1998-2013at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP).  The hospital is a tri-state regional referral center which treats about 150-180 new cases of cancer in children per year.  About 50% are diagnosed with a blood cancer.


 Each consented family so far (approximately 50% of the cohort) has been interviewed in person or by phone call.   Medical staff and psycho- social staff referred patient families for interview with the author.


 Among the families interviewed to date at least one medical radiation exposure has been identified (pre-conception, pre-natal or early childhood) in over 70% of diagnosed children.  These exposures have included pre-conception sinus or chest CT or x-ray in either parent, sinus CT or x-ray in mother or diagnostic radiation of chest or abdomen in children.

Conclusions: Exposures to medical radiation for a child later diagnosed with cancer may occur at several critical junctures.  These exposures may well contribute to a “perfect storm” in the still elusive causes of childhood cancer.  The author plans to expand the study from 1970 to present to hopefully further document these junctures.