15 Apr '11, 12am

Japanese doctors urge workers at stricken Fukushima nuclear plant to have their blood stemcells stored as a safeguard

PARIS - A GROUP of Japanese doctors on Friday urged workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant to have their blood stemcells stored as a safeguard should they be exposed to life-threatening levels of radiation. The technique entails storing so-called autologous peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs), which are immature cells that differentiate into blood cells. PBSC transplants are often used in cancer treatment to boost depleted blood cell counts among patients who have had radiotherapy to destroy a tumour. In a letter to the British medical weekly The Lancet, cancer specialists at four Japanese hospitals argued that it made sense to store blood from the hundreds of workers battling to save the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant from catastrophe. These teams are working in extremely hazardous conditions, removing irradiated water from the site and trying to cool overheated fuel in ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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