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August 6, 1982

Thorium Dioxide and Liver Cancer

JAMA. 1982;248(5):550. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330050034023

To the Editor.—  In light of recent data presented at the International Conference on the Radiobiology of Radium and the Actinides in Man held in Lake Geneva, Wis, Oct 11-16, 1981 (co-sponsored by the US Department of Energy, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Commission of European Communities), the following additional comments are offered in response to the inquiry by Stanley Marcus, MD, in QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS on thorium dioxide (Thorotrast) and the induction of liver cancer and to the response by Norman Telles, MD (1981;246:1833).Persons injected previously with thorium dioxide and followed up for more than 25 years had a high incidence of primary hepatic tumors, ranging from 16% to 68% of cases.1-3 In addition, increased risk of death from liver cirrhosis or fibrosis by a factor of approximately five was noted in Thorotrast injected patients.2,3 A higher incidence of aplastic anemia1 and myeloid leukemia