Cancer and Other Disease Risks in U.S. Nuclear Medicine Technologists

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02911155
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : September 22, 2016
Last Update Posted : August 9, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Cancer Institute (NCI) )

Brief Summary:


The field of nuclear medicine has changed a lot in the past decades. Technology has gotten better, so patients are exposed to less radiation. But now workers are doing procedures more often and using lead aprons less. So they may be exposed to more radiation. This may put them at higher risk for cancers and other health problems that are related to radiation. Researchers want to collect data from technologists to learn more about the risks and appropriate doses of radiation.


To learn more about the risks and appropriate doses of radiation for nuclear medicine technologists.


Adults who were first certified in nuclear medicine technology in the United States after 1980. They must be living in the United States. They must not be participants in the USRT study.


Participants will be recruited online.

Participants will complete an online survey. It will take about a half hour. This will have questions about their work with nuclear medicine procedures. There will be questions about the kinds of procedures and how often they do them.

Participants will give a short work history. This will include the names of current and past employers.

Participants will allow researchers to get records of their film badge dose readings. These will come from dosimetry providers.

Dosimetry data will not be shared with participants. Researchers can t ensure the how accurate or complete the data are.

Condition or disease
Brain Cancer Thyroid Cancer Circulatory Disease Breast Cancer

Detailed Description:
The field of nuclear medicine has expanded rapidly since its inception in the mid-20th century, with nuclear medicine technologists now potentially experiencing higher levels of radiation exposure relative to other medical worker populations. Many radiopharmaceuticals and procedures used in previous decades are now obsolete and are being replaced by new and emerging radioisotopes and combined-modality and molecular imaging procedures. While improvements in imaging technologies and the introduction of certain radioisotopes have generally reduced patient exposure to radiation, nuclear medicine technologists have become increasingly specialized in these newer procedures and are performing these and other nuclear medicine procedures with increasing frequency. Furthermore, lead aprons are less effective in protecting workers during nuclear medicine procedures, specifically higher-energy procedures (e.g., positron emission tomography (PET)), compared to other radiation-related procedures, and are seldom used by technologists performing nuclear medicine. As a result, cumulative doses to nuclear medicine technologists are expected to have increased. We hypothesize that certified nuclear medicine technologists may experience higher risks of some radiation-related cancers and other adverse health outcomes compared to most other medical specialty groups. There is currently very little information about radiation-related risks associated with performing these procedures due, in part, to limited information on occupational doses associated with current nuclear medicine practices. To characterize organ-specific doses that could later be used to quantify risks for specific radiation-related disease outcomes, either directly (through subsequent follow-up) or indirectly (through risk projection methods), we plan to collect detailed work history information on nuclear medicine procedures and associated radiation safety practices, as well as badge doses, for a representative sample of 1,500 technologists certified in nuclear medicine in the U.S. This information will complement similar data collected in 2013-2014 from an independent sample of approximately 4,500 general radiologic technologists in the U.S. Radiologic Technologists Study (USRT) who had reported working with these procedures. However, unlike the USRT sample, the proposed sample is expected to be higher-risk, including only those workers with a specialty certification in nuclear medicine who will have been begun working with nuclear medicine procedures much earlier in their career, at ages associated with greater susceptibility to radiation-related carcinogenesis.

Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 229 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Cancer and Other Disease Risks in U.S. Nuclear Medicine Technologists
Study Start Date : September 21, 2016
Estimated Primary Completion Date : May 2, 2022
Estimated Study Completion Date : May 2, 2022

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Nuclear Scans

US Nuclear Medicine Technologist
radiologic technologists certified in nuclear medicine

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. U.S. nuclear medicine tecnologist [ Time Frame: 2016-2022 ]
    Cancer and other disease risks associated with occupational nuclear medicine radiation exposures

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Administer questionnaire [ Time Frame: 2016-2018 ]
    Collect data on nuclear medicine procedures performed, radioisotopes used, related work and safety practices, and places of employment over time.

  2. Obtain badge doses [ Time Frame: 2016-2019 ]
    Collect badge doses from the nation's largest commercial dosimetry provider for use in estimating occupational radiation exposures.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 100 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
This is an occupational cohort of 35,593 U.S. nuclear medicine technologists certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist or the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board in 1980 or later.
  • Technologists from the target population of approximately 25,000 individuals who were first certified in nuclear medicine technology in the U.S. after 1980, are currently alive and residing in the U.S., and are not participants of the USRT study.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02911155

United States, Minnesota
University of Minnesota, School of Public Health Environmental Health Sciences
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55455
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Principal Investigator: Cari M Kitahara National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Responsible Party: National Cancer Institute (NCI) Identifier: NCT02911155     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 999916141
First Posted: September 22, 2016    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 9, 2018
Last Verified: May 30, 2018

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Cancer Institute (NCI) ):
Cohort Study

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Thyroid Neoplasms
Brain Neoplasms
Endocrine Gland Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Central Nervous System Neoplasms
Nervous System Neoplasms
Brain Diseases
Endocrine System Diseases
Thyroid Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Pathologic Processes