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To the Editor:—
I read with great interest the communication by J. S. Lawrence on "Irradiation Leukemogenesis," which appeared in the Dec 21, 1964, issue of The Journal (190:1049-1054).I do not agree that the statement by Lewis, "the probability of developing radiation-induced leukemia is estimated to be 2 × 10-6 per rad... per year" would mean that "in one to six individuals out of 1 million exposed to 1 rad per year, leukemia would be expected to develop."In my opinion, this would mean "every year, in two individuals out of 1 million once exposed to 1 rad, leukemia would be expected to develop. Not forever, of course; yet, for at least eight to ten years, the lapse of time since the beginning of cases of leukemia in Hiroshima's survivors (1947) until the analysis by Lewis (1957).
Caretta G. Irradiation Leukemogenesis. JAMA. 1965;192(7):647. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080200065032