Second neoplasms following megavoltage radiation in a pediatric population

Robert E. Haselow, Mark Nesbit, Louis P. Dehner, Faiz M. Khan, Richard McHugh, Seymour H. Levitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Previous reports of radiation‐related neoplasia have relied primarily upon patients treated by orthovoltage to low doses for benign disease. This survey is believed to be the first to assess the incidence of second neoplasms following megavoltage therapy. The source was the records of all long‐term pediatric survivors (88 patients) who were treated with megavoltage radiation (cobalt 60) at the University of Minnesota. There was an average follow‐up period of 14 years during which 7 second neoplasms were discovered (8%). Five were not associated with prior radiation. Both radiation‐related neoplasms were associated with low doses and one was without significant morbidity. Two of the seven neoplasms were malignant; one was not associated with radiation while the other was associated with prolonged chemotherapy and low dose radiation (1%). The only fatal second neoplasm was not associated with radiation but developed 5 years after prolonged chlorambucil treatment. This review reveals the tendency of childhood cancer victims to develop other neoplasms regardless of radiation. The finding of neoplasia induction only at low radiation doses supports the Gray hypothesis of decreased tumor induction at high doses through increased cell killing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1191
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1978
Externally publishedYes

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