News | Radiation Dose Management | November 01, 2017

ACR Chair Tells House Subcommittee to Fund Modern Low-Dose Medical Radiation Research

James Brink encourages Congress to reintroduce Low-Dose Radiation Research Act to clarify short- and long-term research goals

ACR Chair Tells House Subcommittee to Fund Modern Low-Dose Medical Radiation Research

November 1, 2017 — James A. Brink, M.D., FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Board of Chancellors, met with the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy to urge more research on low-dose medical radiation effects to inform future safety practices. He also told the Committee that medical imaging and radiation oncology save lives.

“Not everyone in the scientific community agrees with the validity of extrapolating cancer risk for low-dose radiation exposure based on data from individuals who received high doses of radiation. Some believe there is a threshold below which radiation exposure should not be a concern,” said Brink. He added that, “While exposure to lower doses may damage or alter a cell's genetic code or DNA, such exposure does not necessarily result in negative health consequences.” 

Brink praised the work of the National Academies Board on Radiation Effects Research (BEIR) which addresses the health effects of exposure of human populations to low-dose, low-LET (linear energy transfer) ionizing radiation. But, he noted that the last BEIR report was in 2006. Brink urged a critical assessment of more recent data in both epidemiologic and experimental research. 

“There is a need for an update to the BEIR report series that critically looks at the research and provides a balanced perspective on the significance of research and knowledge in this field over the past decade” said Brink. 

The ACR chair stressed that the medical community — including radiology — and regulators have adopted policies and practices to keep radiation doses “As Low as Reasonably Achievable” (ALARA). But, he noted that the process needs to be refined and optimized using modern data. 

“There is a compelling need to improve science’s direct understanding of low-level exposure and to apply new knowledge to radiation safety practices, professional guidelines and regulatory policy,” Brink said. 

He told the panel — there to discuss United States Department of Energy funding of basic research on low-dose radiation — that such research is vital. 

The ACR endorsed the Low-Dose Radiation Research Act in the last Congress. The legislation would have required the Director of the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science to carry out research on low-dose radiation. This would enhance scientific understanding of, and reduce uncertainties associated with, the effects of exposure to low-dose radiation. 

The bill would also require the director to enter into an agreement with the National Academies to assess the current status and development of a long-term strategy for low-dose radiation research. Brink urged that similar legislation be introduce and passed in the current Congress. 

“It is important for the National Academies to periodically assess the status and inform the development of a long-term strategy for low-dose radiation research. We also believe the Department of Energy and other federal agencies must be adequately funded to support low-dose radiation research activities,” said Brink. 

For more information: www.radiologyinfo.org

Related Content

Ingenia Ambition X 1.5T MR. This innovation is the latest advance in the Ingenia MRI portfolio, which comprises fully-digital MRI systems, healthcare informatics and a range of maintenance and life cycle services for integrated solutions that empower a faster, smarter, and simpler path to enabling a confident diagnosis
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | September 14, 2018
Philips, a global leader in health technology, launched the Ingenia Ambition X 1.5T MR.
Sponsored Content | Whitepapers | Radiation Dose Management | September 10, 2018
It’s crucial for medical professionals to understand the radiation risk/ benefit balance of diagnostic imaging system
Videos | Radiation Therapy | September 07, 2018
A discussion with Ehsan Samei, Ph.D., DABR, FAAPM, FSPIE, director of the Duke University Clinical Imaging Physics Gr
The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s.

The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s.

Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | September 07, 2018
Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate...

Image courtesy of Medic Vision

Feature | Radiation Dose Management | September 06, 2018 | By Mukul Mehra, M.D.
While working with a patient with Crohn’s disease in my gastroenterology practice, I nearly ordered a computed...
Guerbet Partners With Imalogix on Dose Optimization With Artificial Intelligence
News | Radiation Dose Management | August 14, 2018
August 14, 2018 — Guerbet LLC USA announced a commercial partnership with Imalogix, a provider of...
Videos | Radiomics | August 09, 2018
A discussion with Martin Vallieres, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
Imalogix Brings Fluoroscopy Capabilities to Radiation Dose Management Platform
Technology | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 06, 2018
Imalogix, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI) process and workflow solutions, announced the availability of the...
Gary D. Luker Named Editor of Radiology: Imaging Cancer

Image courtesy of University of Michigan Medical School

News | Oncology Diagnostics | August 06, 2018
The Board of Directors of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) announced that Gary D. Luker, M.D., will...
Videos | Digital Radiography (DR) | August 03, 2018
Sheila Sferrella, president of Regents Health Resources and Bill Finerfrock, president of Capitol Associates, discuss