Study reveals increased risk of leukemia among Chernobyl cleanup workers

Published on November 8, 2012 at 7:00 AM · No Comments

The new work helps to bridge this gap because the doses received by the Ukrainian cleanup workers falls somewhere in between the high level received by the Japanese atomic bomb victims and the lower levels received by people who undergo extensive medical scans.

It also challenges the idea that chronic lymphocytic leukemia is not linked to radiation exposure - something that earlier studies of atomic bomb survivors had seemed to support.

The genetic makeup of the Japanese population may have hidden any increased risk, Zablotska said, because they are much less likely to develop this type of cancer anyway. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia accounts for only 3 percent of all cases of leukemia in Japan - as opposed to about one-third of all leukemia cases in the U.S. and 40 percent of all cases of leukemia in Ukraine.

The article, "Radiation and the Risk of Chronic Lymphocytic and Other Leukemias among Chernobyl Cleanup Workers" by Lydia B. Zablotska, Dimitry Bazyka, Jay H. Lubin, Nataliya Gudzenko, Mark P. Little, Maureen Hatch, Stuart Finch, Irina Dyagil, Robert F. Reiss, Vadim V. Chumak, Andre Bouville, Vladimir Drozdovitch, Victor P. Kryuchkov, Ivan Golovanov, Elena Bakhanova, Nataliya Babkina, Tatiana Lubarets, Volodymyr Bebeshko, Anatoly Romanenko and Kiyohiko Mabuchi will be published online by the journal Environmental Health Perspectives on November 8th, 2012. See: http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/

In addition to UCSF, authors on this study are associated with the National Research Center for Radiation Medicine in Kyiv, Ukraine; the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.; Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Camden, N.J.; Columbia University in New York City; and Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Centre in Moscow.

This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through grant #CA132918 and contract #NO1-CP-21178 and by the Intra-Agency Agreement between the NCI and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) through agreement #Y2-Al-5077 and #Y3-CO-5117. Both NCI and NIAID are part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Additional support was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (contract HHSN 261 2004 55796C), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety.

Source University of California, San Francisco

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