Effects of low-dose radiation on immune parameters, antioxidant and metabolic signalling and implications in the development and progression of mammary cancer – Year two

Recent studies have called into question the Linear No Threshold (LNT) model of radiation protection, which predicts a linear increase in cancer risk with low-dose radiation exposure. However, current experimental evidence suggests that low-dose radiation (LDR, <0.1 Gy) elicits a non-linear response in biological systems and may result in beneficial effects, such as activation of anti-tumor immunity. Unfortunately, these studies lack detailed and mechanistic evidence to test the validity of the LNT model. As identified at a recent CANDU Owners Group (COG) workshop as well as in the COG Strategic R&D Program, there is a need to address Canadian public concerns surrounding exposures to low dose anthropogenic radiation. These concerns, as well as the validity of the LNT model, can only be addressed through comprehensive and mechanistic radiobiological studies. This project will provide a systematic and detailed investigation of the effects of LDR on immune system and implications in mammary cancer development and progression. Results of the project will provide the knowledge base and understanding of biological effects of low-dose radiation and inform regulators and policy makers so that more reliable radioprotection standards can be adopted.

Faculty Supervisor:

Seung-Hwan Lee


Abrar Ul Haq Khan


CANDU Owners Group


Biochemistry / Molecular biology




University of Ottawa



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