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Quantum Life and Medical Science Directorate

Radiation Effects

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Using scientific knowledge to address anxiety regarding low dose radiation exposure

The TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident occurred in 2011. Since then, QST has been conducting research on the risk of carcinogenesis from low dose radiation exposure. These studies have been driven by increasing anxiety regarding the impacts of long-term exposure to small doses of radiation in the context of nuclear accidents as well as medical radiation use.

Recent results include those from studies on breast cancer risk due to low-dose radiation exposure. Breasts are particularly susceptible to radiation. In experiments with rats, the risk of developing cancer due to low-dose radiation exposure is lower than for the same total exposure due to higher doses.

Laboratory of radiation effects research group

In future, research will be conducted on cancer risk associated with low-dose radiation exposure for other organs that are susceptible to radiation. In addition, studies will evaluate whether there are radiation-specific genetic mutations that occur in cancerous tissue and the stem cells as an origin of cancer, as well as determine the mechanisms by which carcinogenic risks differ according to the dose rate and age at the time of exposure.

Although the results of animal experiments are not necessarily directly applicable to humans, the data obtained from these experiments increases the scientific understanding of previously unknown concepts. This knowledge can then be used to address concerns regarding the effects of radiation exposure on cancer.

Laboratory of Radiation Effects Research Group


Research Department

High-Profile Research Papers

  • "Mutational landscape of T-cell lymphoma in mice lacking the DNA mismatch repair gene Mlh1: no synergism with ionizing radiation." Daino Kazuhiro, Atsuko Ishikawa, Tomo Suga, Yoshiko Amagasaki, Yotaro Kodama, Yi Shang, Shinobu Hirano-Sakairi, Mayumi Nishimura, Akifumi Nakata, Matsuaki Yoshida, Takashi Imai, Yoshiya Shimada, Shizuko Kakinuma, Carcinogenesis (2019), doi:
  • "Prominent Dose-Rate Effect and Its Age Dependence of Rat Mammary Carcinogenesis Induced by Continuous Gamma-Ray Exposure" Tatsuhiko Imaoka, Mayumi Nishimura, Kazuhiro Daino, Ayaka Hosoki, Masaru Takabatake, Yukiko Nishimura, Toshiaki Kokubo, Takamitsu Morioka, Kazutaka Doi, Yoshiya Shimada, Shizuko Kakinuma, Radiation Research (2019), doi: