The Department of Energy conduced ten large-scale neutron irradiation experiments at Argonne National Laboratory between 1972 and 1989. Using a new approach to utilize experimental controls to determine whether a cross comparison between experiments was appropriate, we amalgamated data on neutron exposures to discover that fractionation significantly improved overall survival. A more detailed investigation showed that fractionation only had a significant impact on the death hazard for animals that died from solid tumors, but did not significantly impact any other causes of death. Additionally, we compared the effects of sex, age first irradiated, and radiation fractionation on neutron irradiated mice versus cobalt 60 gamma irradiated mice and found that solid tumors were the most common cause of death in neutron irradiated mice, while lymphomas were the dominant cause of death in gamma irradiated mice. Most animals in this study were irradiated before 150 days of age but a subset of mice was first exposed to gamma or neutron irradiation over 500 days of age. Advanced age played a significant role in decreasing the death hazard for neutron irradiated mice, but not for gamma irradiated mice. Mice that were 500 days old before their first exposures to neutrons began dying later than both sham irradiated or gamma irradiated mice.
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