The Horizon 2020 MEDIRAD project on implications of medical low dose radiation exposure aims to enhance the scientific bases and clinical practice of radiation protection in the medical field and thereby addresses the need to understand and evaluate the health effects of low dose ionising radiation exposure from diagnostic and therapeutic imaging and from off-target effects in radiotherapy.

MEDIRAD pursues three major operational objectives:

  • First, it will improve organ dose estimation and registration to inform clinical practice, optimise doses, set recommendations and provide adequate dosimetry for clinical-epidemiological studies of effects of medical radiation.
  • Second, it aims to evaluate and understand the effects of medical exposures, focusing on the two major endpoints of public health relevance: cardiovascular effects of low to moderate doses of radiation from radiotherapy in breast cancer treatment incl. understanding of mechanisms; and long-term effects on cancer risk of low doses from CT in children.
  • Third, it will develop science-based consensus policy recommendations for the effective protection of patients, workers and the general public.

The 57-month MEDIRAD project brings together 34 partner institutions from 14 European countries. The multi-disciplinary consortium includes clinical experts, scientists and policy makers in the fields of medical, radiation protection and nuclear research from hospitals, universities and major research centres across Europe. The project is coordinated and managed by EIBIR, and Prof. Guy Frija (Université de Paris) acts as Clinical Coordinator and Prof. Elisabeth Cardis (ISGlobal) as Scientific Coordinator of the project.

In close interaction with European medical associations (EANM, EFOMP, EFRS, ESR and ESTRO), MELODI, EURADOS and EURAMED, the project will (1), develop a tool to determine image quality to maximise optimisation in medical imaging, (2) improve and develop new individual organ/anatomical structure dosimetry from chest CT, I131 administration, fluoroscopy-guided procedures, hybrid imaging, and RT for breast cancer and interlinks with image quality measures, (3) conduct epidemiological studies of consequences of RT and CT, (4) identify potential novel imaging and circulating biomarkers and mechanisms of radiation effects, (5) develop innovative risk models, (6) develop and implement a European repository of patient dose and imaging data, (7) develop science-based recommendations, and (8) introduce novel approaches to bring together the nuclear and medical sectors.

Facts and figures

Coordinator: European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR)
Number of Partners: 33
Start Date: June 1, 2017
End Date: February 28, 2022
Total Funding: € 9,995,145.75

This project has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018 under grant agreement No 755523.