MediRad - Implications of Medical Low Dose Radiation Exposure

Project titel: MEDIRAD - Implications of Medical Low Dose Radiation Exposure
Duration of the project: 1.6.2017 – 31.05.20217
Funding organization: European Commission - Horizon 2020, Call NFRP-2016-2017
Total eligible costs: 10.0 MEUR, 32 partners HMGU-ISS 0.43 MEUR
Contact person: Dr. Christian Kaiser, Dr. Cristoforo Simonetto

MEDIRAD aims to enhance the scientific bases and clinical practice of radiation protection (RP) in the medical field and thereby addresses the need to understand and evaluate the health effects of low dose ionising radiation exposure from diagnostic and therapeutic imaging and from off-target effects in radiotherapy (RT). MEDIRAD will pursue 3 major operational objectives: First, it will improve organ dose estimation and registration to inform clinical practice, optimise doses, set recommendations and provide adequate dosimetry for clinical-epidemiological studies of effects of medical radiation. Second, it aims to evaluate and understand the effects of medical exposures, focusing on the two major endpoints of public health relevance: cardiovascular effects of low to moderate doses of radiation from RT in breast cancer treatment incl. understanding of mechanisms; and long-term effects on cancer risk of low doses from CT in children. Third, it will develop science-based consensus policy recommendations for the effective protection of patients, workers and the general public. Within the 4-year project a multi-disciplinary consortium will, in close interaction with European medical associations, MELODI and EURADOS (1), develop a tool to determine image quality to maximise optimisation of RP in medical imaging, (2) improve and develop new individual organ/anatomical structure dosimetry from chest CT, I131 administration, fluoroscopy-guided procedures, hybrid imaging, and RT for breast cancer and interlinks with image quality measures, (3) conduct epidemiological studies of consequences of RT and CT, (4) identify potential novel imaging and circulating biomarkers and mechanisms of radiation effects, (5) develop innovative risk models, (6) develop and implement for the first time a European repository of patient dose and imaging data, (7) develop science-based recommendations, and (8) introduce novel approaches to bring together the nuclear and medical sectors. Our working group is leading Task 4.3 on “Cardiovascular risk modelling” of MEDIRAD This task comprises two sub-tasks with the aim of developing risk models for adverse health effects of the cardiovascular system following radiation therapy. Endpoints for these risk models are the probability of normal tissue complications such as acute coronary events (ACEs) and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) with atherosclerosis as underlying disease (stroke, myocardial infarction). Models for other CVDs (i.e. congestive heart failure) will be developed if relevant disease biomarkers suggest relations to these CVDs. Model development follows an integrative approach of combing radiation epidemiology and molecular systems biology. Concepts for mechanistic models will be designed by including the results of statistical analysis of molecular data on gene expression profiles and network analysis.