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Philadelphia Researcher Tests New Radiation Exposure Treatments

(Some Japanese nuclear plant workers undergo decontamination in Fukushima, Japan.  AP photo)

(Some Japanese nuclear plant workers undergo decontamination in Fukushima, Japan. AP photo)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A Philadelphia-based researcher is looking at drugs that, if approved, could help the Japanese workers inside those damaged nuclear plants (see related story).

rodeck Philadelphia Researcher Tests New Radiation Exposure Treatments

(Dr. Uli Rodeck)

Dr. Uli Rodeck (right), a professor of dermatology and radiation oncology at Thomas Jefferson Univeristy Hospital, has received a federal grant to test several drugs that would treat radiation exposure — not just provide a measure of protection the way iodide pills do.

The interest in such treatments grew after the September 11th terror attacks, but now there’s a real need because of the Japanese workers trying to prevent disaster inside those crippled reactors.

“They are doing this knowing that they are exposed to very high doses of radiation,” Dr. Rodeck explains, “and the work that we are doing is designed to find ways to minimize the damage that they incur while they are doing their job.”

He says there is now one drug that helps somewhat but has a lot of side effects.

Reported by Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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