Pawel, D. J., Preston, D. L., Pierce, D. A. and Cologne, J. B. Improved Estimates of Cancer Site-Specific Risks for A-Bomb Survivors. Radiat. Res. 169, 87–98 (2008).

Simple methods are investigated for improving summary site-specific radiogenic risk estimates. Estimates in this report are derived from cancer incidence data from the Life Span Study (LSS) cohort of A-bomb survivors that are followed up by the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF). Estimates from the LSS of excess relative risk (ERR) for solid cancer sites have typically been derived separately for each site. Even though the data for this are extensive, the statistical imprecision in site-specific (organ-specific) risk estimates is substantial, and it is clear that a large portion of the site-specific variation in estimates is due to this imprecision. Empirical Bayes (EB) estimates offer a reasonable approach for moderating this variation. The simple version of EB estimates that we applied to the LSS data are weighted averages of a pooled overall estimate of ERR and separately derived site-specific estimates, with weights determined by the data. Results indicate that the EB estimates are most useful for sites such as esophageal or bladder cancer, for which the separately derived ERR estimates are less precise than for other sites.

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