Today at Berkeley Lab

Radiotherapy in Girls and the Risk of Breast Cancer Later in Life

Sylvain Costes and Jonathan Tang of the Life Sciences Division (LSD), working with Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, formerly of LSD and now with the York University School of Medicine, believe they have found out why exposing young women and girls under the age of 20 to ionizing radiation substantially raises the risk of their developing breast cancer later in life. Their study points to increased stem cell self-renewal and subsequent mammary stem cell enrichment as the culprits. Breasts enriched with mammary stem cells as a result of ionizing irradiation during puberty show a later-in-life propensity for developing ER negative tumors – cells that do not have the estrogen receptor, which plays a critical role in the normal development of the female breast. More>

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  1. Dick McDonald says:

    At what doses does this onset? Radiotherapy doses are on the order of 70Sv???

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