The use of radiation for medical diagnosis and treatment procedures has had a major impact on the survival of paediatric patients. Although the benefits of these techniques largely outweigh the risks, there is a need to better understand the long-term health effects of such exposures in order to optimise treatment plans in these young patients and reduce the risk of late toxicities. HARMONIC is a European-funded project that aims at better understanding the long-term health effects of medical exposure to ionising radiation in children, specifically those undergoing radiotherapy for cancer or X-ray guided imaging for treatment of cardiac disorders. By building European cohorts and registries for long-term follow up of paediatric patients, we aim to: 1) Investigate the late health effects in children undergoing modern radiotherapy (including proton therapy) 2) Investigate development of cancer in children exposed to X-ray guided imaging for treatment of cardiac disorders 3) Provide the medical and radiation protection (RP) communities with tools for long-term follow-up of children exposed to medical ionising radiation. 4) Improve estimates of radiation doses received by different organs in the body during these procedures 5) Investigate possible mechanisms that may lead to the development of cancer and vascular diseases in these patients later in life 6) Establish recommendations to optimise these techniques and further reduce radiation doses received by children undergoing X-ray guided imaging and radiotherapy HARMONIC, a consortium of 24 European partners, will provide much needed information on the effects of low to moderate doses of radiation on humans and help improve radiological protection in medicine. The project is based on building a close relationship with clinicians (paediatric oncologists and cardiologists), sociologists, and patients, which will ensure the study is relevant not only in terms of clinical effectiveness but also in terms of patient care and quality of life.
|Number of pages
|AIR2 Bulletin on infrastructures
|Published - 1 Jun 2020