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May 17, 1965

Irradiation Leukemogenesis

JAMA. 1965;192(7):647. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080200065032

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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).

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