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:

Related Content

Videos | Cardiac Imaging | September 10, 2018
Leslee Shaw, Ph.D., professor of cardiology and rad
Arterys collaborated with GE Healthcare to create the ViosWorks software to cardiac MRI analysis.

Arterys collaborated with GE Healthcare to create the ViosWorks software. The software integrates artificial intelligence to speed workflow and perform a full 3-D chest volume scan with myocardium motion, blood flow, time and fully automated quantification.

Feature | Cardiac Imaging | March 30, 2018 | Jeff Zagoudis
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for cardiac assessment provides a radiation-free alternative to other commonly used
New Policy Decisions Give Millions Access to HeartFlow FFRct Analysis
News | Cardiac Imaging | February 01, 2018
February 1, 2018 – HeartFlow announced that seven new commercial payers issued positive medical policies covering the
Clear detail of the in-stent restenosis can be seen in this image from the new high-resolution Canon Precision CT system. RSNA 2017, #RSNA2017, #RSNA17

Clear detail of the in-stent restenosis can be seen in this image from the new high-resolution Canon Aquilion Precision CT system.

Feature | Cardiac Imaging | January 23, 2018 | Dave Fornell
Medical imaging plays a key role in cardiology, and most of the newest radiology technology advances are first unveil
Philips Introduces Technology Maximizer Program for Imaging Equipment Upgrades
Technology | Cardiac Imaging | January 17, 2018
Philips recently announced the launch of Technology Maximizer, a cross-modality program designed to boost the clinical...
Videos | Cardiac Imaging | December 29, 2017
ITN and DAIC Editor Dave Fornell takes a tour of some of the most interesting new medical imaging technologies on the
Siemens Healthineers Introduces Share360 Tailored Service Portfolio
News | Cardiac Imaging | November 10, 2017
To address the specific needs of medical imaging clinical engineering departments nationwide, Siemens Healthineers has...
HeartFlow's FFR-CT (FFRct) analysis software can create a virtual FFR to assess coronary artery disease.

HeartFlow's FFR-CT analysis software uses a computed tomography scan and supercomputing fluid dynamics software to create a noninvasive, virtual FFR map of the entire coronary artery tree to determine the flow-limiting severity of ant lesions. 

News | Cardiac Imaging | November 06, 2017
November 6, 2017 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized a New Technology Ambulatory P
Philips Announces Findings of Patient Experience in Imaging Research
News | Cardiac Imaging | October 24, 2017
Philips recently announced the key findings of its research focused on the patient experience in diagnostic imaging...
Overlay Init