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NIH Record  
Vol. LXV, No. 4
  February 15, 2013
STEP Forum Explores Making the Most of Social Media
NIH Surpasses CFC Goal
Gail To Give Gordon Lecture, Feb. 27
Reed To Head NIMHD’s Clinical Research
NINDS’s Nath Elected ISNV President
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Becoming Major Cause of Cancer
NCI’s Berrington Outlines Risks of Medical Radiation

NCI’s Dr. Amy Berrington de Gonzalez says medical radiation is becoming a major cause of cancer.

NCI’s Dr. Amy Berrington de Gonzalez says medical radiation is becoming a major cause of cancer.

Among the world’s developed nations, the United States is notably aggressive in the pursuit of technologies employing radiation for both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. And while there’s no doubt that CT (computed tomography) scans, X-rays and cardiac stress tests (which use radioactive tracers) represent medical progress and save lives, the frequency with which we use them may be increasing cancer rates, to the point that physician-directed radiation is becoming one of the top 10 causes of the disease.

So reported Dr. Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, senior investigator in NCI’s Radiation Epidemiology Branch, at a Jan. 11 talk in Wilson Hall titled “Medical Radiation and Cancer Risk: Assessing the Price of Progress.”

In the last 15 years of her career, Berrington, a native of England who earned her Ph.D in epidemiology at Oxford, has been able to demonstrate that medical radiation is emerging globally as a major cause of cancer. At NIH for the past half decade, she has participated in large-scale studies proving that there is a downside to our technological hunger for more and better radiation-dependent imaging modalities.

Making a ‘Star Wars Leap’
For MLK Program, Wood Conveys ‘Passion for Science of Treating Patients’

NCI’s Dr. Lauren Wood talks cancer vaccines.
NCI’s Dr. Lauren Wood talks cancer vaccines.
We already have some of the best cancer fighters inside us, and in the next 5 years or so, we’ll know how better to harness and deploy them. That’s the message NCI staff clinician Dr. Lauren Wood delivered Jan. 24 at this year’s annual salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

An immunologist in NCI’s Vaccine Branch, Wood was tapped to give the keynote talk for “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off,” NIH’s MLK observance, which was sponsored by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management in collaboration with the NIH Black Employment Program committee.