Blood samples of workers Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, Japan, should be collected and stored in anticipation of when they are exposed to high levels of radiation and require stem cell transplants (stem cells, cells that can become any cell type).
Japanese researchers said the blood collected from the workers that can be processed into their own stem cells are ready to become “drug”. These stem cells can help rebuild bone marrow damaged by high radiation exposure.
“The danger of radiation exposure still have to watch out, because until now the aftershocks are still happening quite serious,” said Dr. Shuichi Taniguchi, from the Toranomon Hospital in Tokyo, and Dr. Tetsuya Tanimoto, from the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, the medical journal Lancet last week .
The scientists said the transplant team in Japan and Europe are ready to capture and store the cells of the workers, but until now the Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission refused. “They reasoned it would be a physical and psychological burden for nuclear workers,” said Taniguchi.
Stem cells from these workers are believed to be more efficacious than using stem cells donated from another person. Stem cells would be more suitable and risk rejection by the lower body. Transplantation of stem cells from the cell itself makes the workers also do not need mengasup drugs to suppress the immune system, so as to ward off infection. Quickly, the cells can restore normal function of the body to produce blood cells.
Tues workers should be kept in a cell bank when one day they suffered from leukemia, which can occur when they are exposed to high radiation.
The research team acknowledges that it is not a perfect solution. The high radiation exposure can also attack the cells in the stomach, skin, or lungs, and the disease can not be cured with stem cell transplantation.
Even so, measures to protect workers from radiation hazards in the future should be done immediately because of efforts to repair and cleaning of the damaged plant is expected to take a long time. “The most important mission is to save lives and protect nuclear workers are local residents,” said team. “This approach will be the best defensive measure in the industry: if a fatal accident occurs in nuclear workers, the Japanese nuclear power industry will falter.”