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Project Objectives

Relevance to the objectives of the program

The major objective of the Euratom Research and Training Programme on Nuclear Energy (2002-2006), is to better quantify and understand the risk of late health effects associated with low and protracted exposures to ionising radiation. RACE will provide additional information on the risk of cardiovascular disease following low exposures to ionising radiation in general.


Potential impact

The project has the potential to extend general knowledge of the late health effects of low doses of ionising radiation and should provide valuable input to policy on radiation protection standards.


Scientific and technical excellence in research and innovation

The project is a multidisciplinary approach involving expertise in oncology, epidemiology, statistics, computing, radiation dosimetry, and radiotherapy. The radiotherapy regimens used and the criteria for selecting women for radiotherapy will most certainly be influenced by the results. We will also test the hypothesis that women with previous disorders and with a certain life style (e.g. tobacco use) will have a greater increase in the risk of cardio-vascular disorders than other women.


Quality of the consortium

The UK participants in the project are based at the University of Oxford and are also members of the Secretariat of the Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group.  This group carries out quinquennial, collaborative meta-analyses that bring together, once every five years, the totality of the randomised evidence worldwide on the treatment of any aspect of breast cancer. The Swedish and Danish collaborators have a substantial experience as epidemiologists and have a clinical background as breast cancer specialists. The Scandinavian researchers have conducted similar population-based nationwide studies previously. We involve several radiologists and radiation physicists in Europe with a long experience in dosimetry. The consortium will thus be in an excellent position to conduct the study and to interpret the findings.


Mobilisation of resources

The cohort and case-control studies will be carried out using data from Sweden and Denmark, where existing registers and records make the project possible and highly cost-effective. The use of data from two different countries will enable a much larger group of exposed women, and a wider range of radiotherapy regimens and doses to be studied. The dosimetric work and the statistical analyses will be carried out using UK expertise.



















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