HARMONIC team members describe how they will assess the risk of cancer in individuals who were exposed to cardiac fluoroscopy in early life
The European-funded HARMONIC project was launched last year in order to better understand the health consequences of being exposed to medical radiation during childhood or early adulthood. Specifically, the project will focus on two groups of paediatric patients: those undergoing radiotherapy for cancer treatment, and those undergoing cardiac fluoroscopy for the treatment of heart disorders. In this first publication, HARMONIC team members describe how they will assess the risk of cancer in individuals who were exposed to cardiac fluoroscopy in early life.
The study will establish a pooled cohort of approximately 100,000 patients who underwent cardiac fluoroscopy procedures in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain or the UK, while aged under 22 years. The HARMONIC team will estimate radiations doses delivered to individual organs of these patients, using dose indicators recorded at the time of examination. Finally, the cohort will be followed up using national registries and/or health insurance records to determine health status and cancer incidence. Detailed criteria and protocols for each of these steps are provided.
“These results will improve information for patients and parents and aid clinicians in implementing changes to reduce radiation risks without compromising the medical benefits,” says Marie-Odile Bernier, co-leader together with Mark S Pearce of the project’s work package dedicated to setting-up the cohort.
Harbron RW, Thierry-Chef I, Pearce MS et al. The HARMONIC project: Study design for the assessment of radiation doses and associated cancer risks following cardiac fluoroscopy in childhood. J Radiol Prot. 2020. Jul 15. doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/aba66d.