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Oncologic Survey of East Kazakhstan


New Technologies of Recording and Epidemiological Analysis of the Indices of Oncologic Sickness and Death Rates among the Population Exposed to Radiation and Non-radiation Environmental Factors in the East-Kazakhstan Region

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Medicine
  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology
  • MED-DID/Diagnostics & Devices/Medicine

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Research Institute for Radiation Medicine and Ecology, Kazakstan, Semipalatinsk

Supporting institutes

  • National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakstan, Kazakstan, Kurchatov


  • BFS, Germany, Salzgitter\nInternational Atomic Energy Agency / Agency's Laboratories Seibersdorf, Austria, Vienna\nMedical University of South Carolina / Biometry & Epidemiology, USA, SC, Charleston\nFederal Office for Radiation Protection, Institute for Radiation Hygiene, Germany, Oberschleissheim

Project summary

The problem of ionizing radiation low dose effect combined with the influence of non-radiation environmental factors on the biosphere, living organisms and human acquires a great importance at present. The problem is mostly related to the East-Kazakhstan areas (EKO), where one of the largest nuclear test ranges, the Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS), is located. 458 nuclear tests were conducted at here during 40 years. Of them 30 were ground, 188 atmospheric and 470 underground explosions. As a result, radiation and hygienic situation at the territories adjacent to the test-site had significant time variation. A major component of effect on population was constituted by multiple external gamma-radiation due to radioactive trace and radioactive sediments, following chronic internal radiation due to residual radiation digested with food and water, and inhalated by people. At the same time a powerful infrastructure was created for the mining and machine-building industry, which are the sources of environmental contamination with man-caused non-radiation factors.

The study and assessment of the archive materials available at the Research Institute of Radiation Medicine and Ecology and the National Nuclear Center RK in combination with prospective studies of the sanitary-and-hygienic situation will allow to obtain exhaustive information about the level of a combined impact of environmental radiation and non-radiation factors on human health and to assess oncologic effects of such an impact.

Results of the research conducted allow to enlarge the seeing of low radiation dose influence on a human organism and will be of use for developing the issue of oncogenesis mechanisms related to radioactive radiation.

The research results may be applied at development of medical rehabilitation and treatment system for people exposed to radioactivity.

The project objectives are as follows:

  • Assess the structure and dynamics of spreading of oncologic sickness and death rates among the population of Kazakhstan that have been exposed to radiation and non-radiation factors of the environment.
  • Develop new technologies and an epidemiological analysis of the oncologic sickness and death rates (induced by radiation and other man-caused factors) among the EKO population that have been influenced by radiation and non-radiation factors of the environment.

The accomplishment of the following tasks is provided by the project:
  1. Assessment of the dynamics of population and its age-sex composition, and formation of radiation risk groups in the EKO regions under study for period of 1949-2000;
  2. Collect medical-and-statistical data on the oncologic sickness and death rates among the population living in the regions under study within 1949-2000;
  3. Reconstruct radiation situations and effective equivalent radiation doses of the population in the period of atmospheric tests, assessment of the current average annual effective doses;
  4. Assess the sanitary-hygienic situation and determine the impact of man-caused factors of non-radiation character on the environment and human in the regions under study;
  5. Perform cohort and case-control studies on assessing oncologic sickness and death rates;
  6. Study the dynamics of general and oncologic death rates among the population of the regions under study;
  7. Develop computer programs of recording and an epidemiological analysis of the oncologic sickness and death rates of the population living in the EKO regions under study with accounting for various modifying factors and the time when the irradiation started and in the following years. Develop a database upon the work results. Communicate the data to the health bodies. Publish the work results;
  8. Develop measures on early diagnostics and prevention of oncologic sicknesses among Kazakhstan population that have been exposed to the impact of radiation and non-radiation factors.

The implementation of the above-stated tasks will result in the reliable and qualitative information on a wide range of problems related to the impact of man-caused factors on human health. This project continues the work carried out under corresponding projects of the European Commission on classification of the data available at the Institute of Radiation Medicine and Ecology. The examination and generalization of the archive materials characterizing the spread of oncologic sicknesses in historical cohorts, the development and arrangement of measures on early diagnostics and prevention of the oncologic sicknesses among the population living under environmentally adverse conditions will allow to objectively assess medical losses resulted from such an impact and to develop long-term rehabilitation programs.

A considerable work scope, a great variety of data to be used in the course of project realization require the introduction of interdisciplinary managers consortium consisting of several working groups.

Project Manager controls the overall project implementation.

Working group coordinator acts as a link between the project manager and different working groups.

The system of working group leaders includes the following categories:

  1. Group of historical information collection.
  2. Group of information processing and modeling.
  3. Sampling group.
  4. Group of laboratory study results analysis.
  5. Group of expert consultants.
  6. Group of communication, translation and archives maintenance.
  7. Group of system support, DB development (GIS)


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