Radiobiological implications of fukushima nuclear accident for personalized medical approach

Hisanori Fukunaga, Akinari Yokoya, Yasuyuki Taki, Kevin M. Prise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


On March 11, 2011, a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused serious damage to areas of the Pacific coast in Fukushima prefecture and prompted fears among the residents about a possible meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant reactors. As of 2017, over six years have passed since the Fukushima nuclear crisis and yet the full ramifications of the biological exposures to this accidental release of radioactive substances remain unclear. Furthermore, although several genetic studies have determined that the variation in radiation sensitivity among different individuals is wider than expected, personalized medical approaches for Fukushima victims have seemed to be insufficient. In this commentary, we discuss radiobiological issues arising from low-dose radiation exposure, from the cellbased to the population level. We also introduce the scientific utility of the Integrative Japanese Genome Variation Database (iJGVD), an online database released by the Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Tohoku University that covered the whole genome sequences of 2,049 healthy individuals in the northeastern part of Japan in 2016. Here we propose a personalized radiation risk assessment and medical approach, which considers the genetic variation of radiation sensitivity among individuals, for nextstep developments in radiological protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May


  • Fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant
  • Low-dose radiation
  • Precision medicine
  • Radiation sensitivity
  • Radiation-induced bystander effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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