International Workshop

The Osaka Call-for-Action

Bringing together healthcare and radiation sciences for an optimal use of ionizing radiation
in medicine and strengthened radiation protection of patients and the public.

March 2018, Osaka
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The Committee on Multidisciplinary Research on the Biological Effects of Radiation (JSPS) organized the “International Workshop on the Biological Effects of Radiation - Bridging the Gap between Radiobiology and Medical Use of Ionizing Radiation” (BER2018) at Osaka University on 19 to 21 March 2018 with the specific purpose to discuss updated concepts of biological effects of radiation.

The workshop was attended by 91 participants from 7 countries and 51 organizations. One important focus was on medical exposures, which have become a major source of human exposure to ionizing radiation worldwide. The workshop illustrated that while excellent work is being done by various research platforms and programs individually, there are additional opportunities to broaden the scientific understanding of radiation risk at low doses if we work together.

The data from A-Bomb survivors in Japan have provided most important information on which the current international protection guidelines and recommendations have been framed. There is large number of patients available in many parts of the world who are undergoing radiological examinations and procedures such as multiple investigations with CT or interventional procedures resulting in a wide range of radiation doses, some of which are much larger than those incurred by many members of the A-Bomb survivors' cohort. To tap this population collectively in the context of future scientific investigations would be a good opportunity to increase the evidence basis about low dose radiation risk.

The workshop illustrated the recent progression in the scientific disciplines such as radiobiology, medical physics, radiomics or even radiogenomics, genetics, epidemiology, which are key to better understand low dose radiation effects mechanisms. Such advances have the potential to enhance patient protection, as well as inform the scientific challenges which still lie ahead in this field. It became obvious during the discussions that there is an urgent need for a holistic multidisciplinary approach to radiation and radiation protection research which includes key partners representing the existing national and supra-national programs and researchers, international agencies, institutions and professional associations. The aim of such an approach is to better quantify and communicate radiological risks and to reduce such risks especially for patients.

The workshop concluded that a new approach has a high potential for quantum leap improvement in:

"Understanding the effects of radiation to humans who are exposed
to radiation doses of a few tens of mSv or organ dose of a few tens of mGy."

"The further optimization of the use of ionizing radiation for medical purposes
(diagnostic and/or interventional imaging, therapeutic applications),
taking into account individual responsiveness of a patient to radiation,
which would result in higher therapeutic efficacy, as well as enhanced patient safety."

"Risk communication concerning the risks of ionizing radiation exposures."

The workshop agreed that the objectives of the Osaka Call-for-Action represent an exciting but complex challenge,
which would require:

"Tapping the potential of patient groups receiving diagnosis and therapy as a source of information."

"Bridging the gap between epidemiological and radiation biology scientists to work with medical professionals."

"The convergence of scientific disciplines, e.g. radiobiology, epidemiology, medical physics, radiomics, and relevant medical sciences, for a joint elaboration of research strategies and projects."

"The development of a holistic and multidisciplinary vision of research goals to be pursued."

"The establishment of a closely coordinated action plan agreed at international level, not only within the signees of this document - major platforms and programs of radiological sciences in EU, US and Japan - but also with other national bodies, e.g. from China, Korea, Russia and other countries or regions with comprehensive radiological programs, willing to contribute in order to effectively organize the required research efforts. In Europe, we already have partners, like the European radiation protection research platforms. The action plan should also consider new partners such as radiation societies including but not limited to the American Society for Radiation Oncology, Radiological Society of North America, International Organization for Medical Physics, the various radiation research societies that are part of the International Association of Radiation Research, Health Physics Society, American Nuclear Society, and in Japan, Science Council of Japan and Nuclear Regulation Authority."

The action plan should in particular address the following issues:

"Organize collaborative multidisciplinary forums for establishing strategic research agenda with common focus."

"Exchange of research priorities, strategies, programs, and results."

"Develop operational connections between existing programs conducting low dose radiation research."

"Improve standardised methods for collecting of patient dosimetric and related biological data including molecular data, animal and human data, and ecological data, and regulated modalities for using such data for public research purposes, whilst preserving patients' rights to the protection of their privacy."

"Improve radiation protection research for patients (and staff) including the harmonisation of practices, optimising technologies and procedures and adjusting procedures for individual patients based on individual susceptibility."

"Set up an open and sustainable multicentric database and modelling infrastructure."

"Link up to social sciences with the goal of improving risk communication capabilities, for healthcare and radiation protection professionals, as well as towards the public in general."

"Enhance education about radiation and its effects among the public, students, and the radiation community as a whole."

The workshop participants call on:

"Their respective governments and responsible national agencies"

"Research platforms and committees"

"Regional and international agencies and organizations"

to support such initiatives and to facilitate their implementation.

Progress on the follow up to this Call will be reviewed at forthcoming conferences addressing low dose radiation research, as well as any special focused group meetings organized and/or involving the authors of this document.
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Dr. Yoshiharu Yonekura

The National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS)

Dr. Wolfgang Weiss

The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)

General secretary

Dr. Takahiro Wada

Faculty of Engineering Science, Kansai University

Dr. Nobuyuki Osakabe

Corporate Officer, CSO & CTO
of Healthcare Business Unit
Hitachi, Ltd.


Multidisciplinary research on biological effects of radiation, Committees
for Research Promotion in Specialized Areas, Japan Society for the
Promotion of Science

Research Center for Nuclear Physics (RCNP), Osaka University

Interdisciplinary platform for biological effect of radiation, Collaborative
Research Projects, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University

Department of Pure and Applied Physics, Kansai Univeristy

CASNET organized by NPO Einstein


The Tokyo Club