A comparison of the risk coefficients for 239Pu- or 226Ra-induced bone cancer in two canine breeds, one with a relatively low (beagle) and the other with a very high (St. Bernard) natural incidence, indicated only slightly higher risk in the giant breed. The differences in risk for skeletal malignancy in 239Pu and 226Ra dogs were nonsignificant (p > 0.05). Likewise, the values of the 239Pu:226Ra "toxicity ratios" for these respective breeds, using bone cancer as the endpoint, were not significantly different at the 0.05 level. The anatomical distribution of the radiation-induced bone tumors tended to be a function of both the bone mass and the skeletal distribution of the radionuclide, not the site of predilection for naturally occurring bone neoplasia. Although the etiology of the higher natural incidence of bone cancer in the St. Bernard was not determined, several possible factors, including a higher osteoblastic activity level in the St. Bernards, are presented. These data suggest that making extrapolations of radiation-induced bone cancer risk from animals to humans is valid.
(C)1997Health Physics Society