April 20, 2009

Chemical stops radiation-caused leukemia

U.S. researchers say they have determined treatment with biphosphonates could prevent radiation-induced leukemia.

Alexandra Miller, a senior scientist at the U.S. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, said her research is designed to help military and space agency personnel, who are more likely to be exposed to risky levels of radiation than the general population. However, she said the research could have applications for civilian populations as well.

It is possible, although not yet proven, that the compound we studied could have a general effect on leukemia associated with causes other than radiation, such as age, which is much more common, said Miller.

The study's findings were to be presented in Denver this week during the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.