Task Group 111
Factors Governing the Individual Response of Humans to Ionising Radiation

A Task Group under Committee 1 and Committee 3

Tissue reactions and stochastic effects after exposure to ionising radiation are variable between individuals. Factors and mechanisms governing individual responses to ionising radiation are complex and not well understood. These responses can be measured at different levels of biological organization following varying doses of radiation by analysing different endpoints such as cancers, non-cancer diseases and mortality in the whole organism; normal tissue reactions after exposures; and cellular endpoints such as chromosomal damage and molecular alterations. There are many factors that, to different degrees, influence the responses of individual people to radiation. In addition to the obvious factors of radiation quality, dose, dose rate and the tissue (sub)volume irradiated, determining factors include, among others, age and sex, life style (e.g. smoking, diet, and possibly body mass index), environmental factors, genetics and epigenetics, stochastic distribution of cellular events and systemic comorbidities such as diabetes or viral infections. Genetic factors are commonly thought to be a substantial contributor to individual response to radiation. The inheritance of an abnormally responsive phenotype among a population of healthy individuals does not follow a classical Mendelian, monogenic heredity pattern. Rather it is considered to be a multi-factorial, complex trait. The Task Group will develop a report for publication in the Annals of the ICRP that presents a review of the current science relevant to the topic of individual response to radiation.

Progress of the work of the Task Group has been published:

Applegate et al. (2020) Individual response of humans to ionising radiation: governing factors and importance for radiological protection. Radiat Environ Biophys 59: 185-209
Barnard and Hamada. (2022) Individual response of the ocular lens to ionizing radiation. Int J. Radiat. Biol. 98, in press
Abdelkarem et al. (2022) Effect of Race and Ethnicity on Risk of Radiotherapy Toxicity and Implications for Radiogenomics. Clin Oncol, in press


Simon Bouffler (Chair), UK Health Security Agency, United Kingdom
Michel Bourguignon (Member), University Paris Saclay (UVSQ), FRANCE
Kyoji Furukawa (Member), Kurume University, Japan
Nobuyuki Hamada (Member), CRIEPI, Japan
Michael Hauptmann (Member), Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane, Germany
Tatsuhiko Imaoka (Member), National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, Japan
William McBride (Member), University of California at Los Angels, USA
Preetha Rajaraman (Member), Department of Health and Human Services, USA
Claudia E. Ruebe (Member), Saarland University, Germany
Dan Stram (Member), University of Southern California, USA
Catharine West (Member), The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Andrzej Wojcik (Member), Centre for Radiation Protection Research, Stockholm University, Sweden
Andreas K Breitbarth (Member-Mentee), Australia
Sasha Jande (Member-Mentee), Canada
Stephen Barnard (Member-Mentee), UK Health Security Agency, United Kingdom
Julie Leblanc (Member-Mentee), Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Canada
Prabal Subedi (Member-Mentee), Bundesamt fr Strahlenschutz (BfS)/ Federal Office for Radiation Protection, Germany
Boniface Kouam Yao (Technical Secretary), Cote D'ivoire