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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Amy Berrington de González, D.Phil.

Chief and Senior Investigator, Radiation Epidemiology Branch
Senior Advisor for Strategic Activities, Trans-Divisional Research Program

NCI Shady Grove | Room 7E458


Berrington de González Presents at Director’s Seminar

Watch Dr. Berrington de González discuss her research at the 2013 NIH Director’s Seminar Series.

Video: Medical radiation and cancer risk: Assessing the price of progress

Dr. Amy Berrington is the Branch Chief and senior investigator in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch. She is an internationally recognized cancer epidemiologist who has made important contributions to the understanding of cancer risks from medical radiation exposures. Dr. Berrington is the PI of the U.S. Pediatric Proton Therapy Cohort, the Kaiser Breast Cancer Survivors Study and co-PI of the UK Pediatric CT scans cohort, which was the first epidemiological study to support a direct link between CT scans and subsequent cancer risk. Dr. Berrington is currently a member of the NAS Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board and has participated in numerous national and international radiation and cancer advisory committees. She is an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society and served on the editorial board for the American Journal of Epidemiology. Before joining the NCI, she held faculty positions at Oxford and Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Berrington is also the Senior Advisor for Strategic Activities in DCEG. In this role, she provides advice to the Director on the division research portfolio and works with the Deputy Director to oversee strategic planning.

Research Interests

Therapeutic Radiation Exposure

As cancer treatment and screening has improved markedly the number of patients diagnosed with a second primary cancer has also increased. Studying the second cancer risks after radiotherapy provides important clinical information and insights into the long-term effects of high-dose fractionated radiation exposure. Furthermore, as treatments continue to evolve it is important to study the effects of newer treatments on second cancer rates. Dr. Berrington is the PI of the U.S. Pediatric Proton Therapy Cohort, which is a collaboration with the Pediatric Proton Consortium Registry and Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also the PI of the Kaiser Breast Cancer Survivors Study. This is an electronic medical record linkage study of the late effects of breast cancer treatments in more than 15,000 women from Kaiser Colorado, Washington and Northwest.

Diagnostic Radiation Exposure

Dr. Berrington is the co-PI of the UK Pediatric CT Scans study, which is a retrospective cohort study of 250,000 children who had one or more CT scans as children or adolescents. She has conducted a series of risk projection studies to estimate the potential cancer risks from both diagnostic and screening examinations, including cardiac stress tests, CT colonography and lung CT screening. To perform these studies, she and other collaborators developed the NCI Radiation Risk Assessment Tool (RadRAT), which is interactive computer software that uses state of the art risk projection models to estimate lifetime cancer risks and incorporates Monte Carlo simulation methods to assess the impact of uncertainties in the assumptions and data. 

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