2009.04.30 – Senator Specter to provide update on polycythemia vera at PSU Hazleton

http://www.tnonline.com/node/438992

April 30, 2009

Senator Specter to provide update on polycythemia vera at PSU Hazleton

By JOE PLASKO jplasko@tnonline.com

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter will hold a news conference to update residents of the polycythemia vera cancer cluster being investigated in Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne counties.

The event will take place Friday at approximately 3:15 p.m. at Penn State University’s Hazleton Campus in the Evelyn Graham Academic Building, room 109, with residents from the affected area, medical investigators and the media.

The cancer cluster of polycythemia vera, a rare blood disease, was diagnosed along Ben Titus Road in Still Creek, Rush Township. The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reported 33 cases of the disease in the tri-county area.

Ben Titus Road is located near the former McAdoo Associates Superfund site, which was a dumping ground for chemicals and hazardous materials.

Specter, who was in the news this week for switching his political party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, has been involved in obtaining funding for study of the cancer cluster as well as seeking answers for its potential causes. Specter himself is a cancer survivor.

Last month Congress approved $5.5 million to study the matter.

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