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Pathol Int. 2014 Jun;64(6):251-62. doi: 10.1111/pin.12170.

Radiation pathology: from thorotrast to the future beyond radioresistance.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


The effects of radiation on human health have been a major concern, especially after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) accident. We can determine these effects only from radiological disasters. The radiological contrast medium Thorotrast is known to induce hepatic cancers decades after injection. Using archival materials from Thorotrast patients, we performed molecular pathological studies to elucidate carcinogenic mechanisms of internal radiation exposure. It is emphasized here that radiation-induced cancers are a complex consequence of biological response to radiation and ingested radionuclides. We further expanded the study to establish clinically relevant radioresistant cancer cells in order to develop more effective and less harmful radiation therapy. We also found that cancer cells can acquire radioresistance by low-dose fractionated radiation within one month. The FNPP accidents prompted us to collect tissue samples from animals in and around the evacuation zone in order to construct a tissue bank. The final goal of the bank is to enable research that will contribute to the common understanding of radioprotection.

© 2014 The Author. Pathology International © 2014 Japanese Society of Pathology and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.


Fukushima nuclear accident; autophagy; epigenomics; genomic instability; ionizing radiation; neoplasms; radiation effects; radioactive; thorium dioxide

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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