Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP5

Update and Further Development of the European Radiobiology Archives (ERA-DATABASE), Final report (summary)

Project ID: FIR1-CT-2000-20097
Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C

Abstract

The information on which the assessment of the risk from exposure to ionising radiation and in particular from low doses relies comes from various sources. While the understanding of the mechanisms by which radiation acts on biological molecules and cells and causes cancer has made substantial progress, quantitative evaluation of risks still depends primarily on a limited number of epidemiological data. Long-term animal experiments bridge the gap between these two sources of information for situations where human information is too scanty. However, animal experiments, and in particular those of a long-term nature following cancer development, have become unfashionable in recent years since such studies
- are very expensive, so that even a relatively small study with 100 dogs or 5000 mice costs about EUR 10 million. The total investment for the animals now available in the database has exceeded EUR 3 x 109 at today¿s costs;
- require special facilities which have been reduced substantially in recent years and many have been dismantled. Of more than 25 institutes in Europe which carried out such studies 15-20 years ago only about 2 are left today;
- demand special expertise to plan, measure and perform such exposures, keep the animals under standardised conditions and evaluate the gross and histopathological observations. This know-how has dwindled in the Community as many experienced scientists have retired or moved to other areas;
- encounter increasingly legal and political obstacles and the participation in such studies has, at least in some countries, become a hazard to the personal safety of the scientists.

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Record Number: 8946 / Last updated on: 2008-02-13
Category: PRJS