Di Majo, V., Rebessi, S., Pazzaglia, S., Saran, A. and Covelli, V. Carcinogenesis in Laboratory Mice after Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation. Radiat. Res. 159, 102–108 (2003).
Experimental data on the incidence of solid tumors from various long-term mouse studies performed at the Casaccia laboratories over several years were reconsidered, limiting the analysis to the results available for doses equal to or less than 17 cGy of neutrons and 32 cGy of X rays since these dose limits are reasonably close to the generally accepted low-dose levels for high- and low-LET radiation (i.e. Dhigh-LET < 5 cGy and Dlow-LET < 20 cGy, respectively). The following long-term experiments with BC3F1 mice were reviewed: (a) females treated with single doses of 1.5 MeV neutrons or 250 kVp X rays, (b) males treated with fractionated doses of fission neutrons, and (c) mice of both sexes irradiated in utero 17.5 days post coitus with single doses of fission neutrons or X rays. An experiment with CBA mice of both sexes treated with single doses of fission neutrons was also included in this study. Analysis was done on animals at risk; thus all incidences of tumor-bearing animals were expressed as the percentage excess incidence with respect to the controls. Ovarian tumors and other solid neoplasms were considered. The percentage frequencies and mean survival times of tumor-free mice were also recalculated. The results indicate the existence of a region at low doses where the final incidence of solid neoplasms is indistinguishable from the background incidence. These data reinforce the idea that at low doses the effectiveness of ionizing radiation in inducing solid neoplasms in laboratory mice is very low.