A Rare Blood Cancer Cluster To Be Studied In Eastern Pa

03.13.09 | Terry Diener

Congress has approved $5.5 million dollars to study a rare blood cancer cluster in three eastern Pennsylvania counties. U.S. Senator Arlen Specter says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will get most of the funding to study trends and environmental risk factors in Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne counties.

The blood disease - polycythemia vera, or PV - showed up years ago in four Rush Township residents in Schuylkill County. Last August, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reported 33 cases in the tri-county region. The area between McAdoo and Tamaqua remains the center of the cluster, which is near several Superfund sites and a power plant fired by waste coal.