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VIDEO: Stem Cells could Save Lives of the Irradiated Japanese

Posted on: April 1, 2011

A cell bank is offering to store stem cells for Japan

Cryo-Save Group NV, the largest stem cell bank in Europe, is offering to store adult own stem cells for Japanese people. Japanese authorities want to harvest stem cells from the rescue workers, as recent scientific studies have shown that stem cells can repair damage caused by exposure to high radiation.

Stem Cell Laboratory

Japan is worried that it may run out of storage capacity and asked for help. At the present time, iodine tablets are the main way of protecting the people living in rural radioactive environment.

These tablets really help against irradiation with radioactive iodine, but this is just one of many radioactive materials released during a nuclear disaster. So far, nobody has found an effective treatment for radiation effects.

Stem cells repair damage created by radiation

Biotechnology companies are developing new therapies, leaving the adult stem cells to mature in blood cells, including leukocytes, the first line of defense against infections.

Nuclear radiation released during a nuclear disaster destroys the cells, annihilating the immune system. Victims become excessively vulnerable to infection, which could result death.

Cryo-Save wants to offer Japan a helping hand by storing stem cells for teams working at the nuclear plant in Fukushima.

“I understand that Japan is concerned that is not well equipped to handle the storage of stem cells on their own. Cryo-Save, the largest stem cell bank, has the capability and experience necessary to act immediately”, said Marc Waeterschoot, responsible for all activities of the bank storage.

Radiation destroys immunity and may lead to death

Stem cell expert, Prof. Schroyens, Department of Hematology at University Hospital in Antwerp (UZA), confirmed the importance of storing stem cells of people who exposed to high radioactivity.

“Strong exposure to radiation destroys the bone marrow which is responsible for producing blood cells. This almost completely disarms the immune system of victims. Storage and administration of stem cells can save lives”.

Arnoud van Tulder, another Cryo-Save expert, commented that “the disaster of Fukushima shows the risks of nuclear workers. In case of a nuclear disaster, they are the ones who can provide help. It wouldn’t be a luxury harvesting stem cells from these people and storing them. For European governments this may be an opportunity to discuss with those responsible to create a preventive undertaking that, in case of a nuclear disaster, could save the lives of the employees at 143 nuclear power plants in Europe”.



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