To the Editor.—
It was reported by Caldwell and colleagues1 that participants in military maneuvers during a 1957 nuclear test "Smoky" had an unusually high incidence of leukemia. The significance and implications of this report have been presumably diminished by a more recent follow-up study2 reporting that during a period of 22 years there has been no significant increase in other forms of cancers among "Smoky" participants; on this new revised basis, a causal relation between radiation exposure and the high incidence of leukemia was questioned, since it was assumed that not only leukemia but other tumors also would have developed in members of that particular group, if radiation exposure was the principal causative factor.This interpretation is not consistent with results of experimental studies carried out on animals. The incidence of leukemia in certain strains of mice can be increased significantly by exposure of such animals to total-body
Gross L. Cancer Among Nuclear Test Participants. JAMA. 1984;251(15):1951–1952. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340390015009
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