Archive for the ‘RADIATION’ Category


Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Louisville: A US medical team has painstakingly repaired the disfiguring injuries to a woman’s face, caused by radiation treatments for a cancer she never had that caused a gaping hole in her cheek and made her an outcast in a former Soviet republic.

Lessya Kotelevskaya was recovering on Tuesday following the 16-hour surgery the day before at University of Louisville Hospital.

Her surgeon, Dr Jarrod Little, said the procedure to reconstruct her jawbone and cheek went according to plan.

jawbone radiation gone wrong woman image

Lessya Kotelevskaya attends a news conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: AP

“Lessya cannot wait to get back to her normal life,” her cousin, Oleg Sennik, told reporters.

The 30-year-old’s life spiralled into tragedy when she was diagnosed with terminal jaw cancer at age 19 in Kazakhstan after she was accidentally elbowed in the face at a basketball game and her jaw became swollen. The damage from radiation treatments made it difficult to eat and talk.

Mr Sennik spent years searching for his younger cousin, and when he found her she was a mere 35 kilograms and living in the shadows of life in Kazakhstan, where the Ukrainian native had lived since childhood. By the time she found out the cancer diagnosis was wrong, she had lost her husband and their clothing boutique. She scraped by for years with odd jobs at night so people wouldn’t see her. At one point, she lived in the utility room of a car wash.

Dr Jarrod Little speaks at a news conference, showing images of Lessya Kotelevskaya's injuries.image

Dr Jarrod Little speaks at a news conference, showing images of Lessya Kotelevskaya’s injuries. Photo: AP

“She was rejected everywhere she went before,” her cousin said.

Mr Sennik brought Ms Kotelevskaya and her young son to live with him last year in Louisville, Kentucky where they found medical care to turn around her life.

The surgery included removing a leg bone that was conformed into a new jawbone, with the skin becoming the new inside covering of her mouth.

“It couldn’t have gone any better,” said Dr Little, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with University of Louisville Physicians.

Before the procedure, Ms Kotelevskaya could barely open her mouth and had to patch the hole in her right cheek to keep food and drink from seeping out. Now, she’ll be able to open her jaw without problem, Dr Little said.

Ms Kotelevskaya was not incurring expenses for the care. The surgery was described as a $US1 million-plus procedure by a University of Louisiana Physicians spokeswoman.

“She came with no money,” said Dr Little, who donated his time. “She didn’t have anything. With this devastating problem … her insurance status at that point is irrelevant to me. She needs help and we can help her.”

Ms Kotelevskaya is expected to remain in hospital for two to three weeks, Dr Little said. She will likely need “touch up” procedures later, he said. She can also receive dental implants in about six months.

The surgeon said Ms Kotelevskaya won’t look completely like she did before the cancer misdiagnosis and radiation. She will have some scarring on her cheek, “but my job is to make that as least noticeable as possible,” he said.

“Everybody has issues; she’s going to have her issues,” he said. “But these are not anything that’s going to keep her from doing anything she wants to do.”

Ms Kotelevskaya is in this country on a green card but hopes to become an American citizen, her cousin said.

Since arriving in Kentucky, she has started English lessons and got a driver’s licence. Her son, now 7, is adjusting well, and she hopes to become a nurse, following in the footsteps of those who cared for her, Mr Sennik said.


Henry Sapiecha


Friday, September 9th, 2011


Project 4.1 was the designation for a medical study conducted by the United States of those residents of the Marshall Islands exposed to radioactive fallout from the March 1, 1954 Castle Bravo nuclear test at Bikini Atoll, which had an unexpectedly large yield. For the first 10 years or so after the test, the effects were ambiguous and statistically difficult to correlate in radiation exposure: Miscarriages and stillbirths among exposed Rongelap women doubled in the first five years after the accident, but then returned to normal; some developmental difficulties and impaired growth appeared in children, but in no clear-cut pattern. In the decades that followed, though, the effects were undeniable. Children began to suffer disproportionately from thyroid cancer (due to exposure to radioiodines), and almost a third of those exposed developed neoplasms by 1974.

As a Department of Energy Committee writing on the human radiation experiments wrote, “It appears to have been almost immediately apparent to the AEC and the Joint Task Force running the Castle series that research on radiation effects could be done in conjunction with the medical treatment of the exposed populations.” The Department of Energy report also concluded that “The dual purpose of what is now a DOE medical program has led to a view by the Marshallese that they were being used as ‘guinea pigs’ in a possible ‘radiation experiment.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Possible cure for radiation sickness discovered?

By Darren Quick

23:38 July 21, 2009

No need to worry, it's just a nuclear blast

No need to worry, it’s just a nuclear blast

According to a report in the Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronoth, US and Israeli researchers have developed a drug that offers protection from the damaging effects of radiation sickness. The medication could not only provide effective protection in the event of a nuclear or “dirty bomb” attack, but it could also enable cancer patients to be treated with more powerful doses of radiation.

Experiments carried out by Professor Andrei Gudkov, Chief Scientific Officer at Cleveland BioLabs, and his team exposed more than 650 monkeys split into two groups to a radiation dosage equal to the highest dosage sustained by humans as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. Of the group that didn’t receive the cure 70% died, with the survivors suffering from the obvious effects of radiation sickness. However, almost all the monkeys in the group given the medication survived, with most of them exhibiting no side effects.

The tests also showed that injecting the medication between 24 hours before exposure to 72 hours after exposure produced similar results, although Prof. Gudkov emphasized that the drug doesn’t provide 100% protection against radioactive damage. Another test, which involved giving the drug to humans without exposing them to radiation, showed no signs of side effects and indicated the drug is safe for human use.

The medication is the end result of an idea Prof. Gudkov had in 2003 to use protein produced in bacteria found in the intestine to protect cells from radiation. Five years and much hard work later has produced a medication that works by suppressing the “suicide mechanism” of cells hit by radiation, while at the same time enabling them to recover from the radiation-induced damage that triggered the suicide mechanism in the first place. The medication itself is not a vaccine, but a preventative drug that is administered as one or a series of injections.

Thanks to a shortened test track approved for bio-defense drugs Prof. Gudkov’s company expects to complete a set of expanded safety tests by mid-2010, with the medication expected to be approved for use by the FDA within a year or two, provided experiments continue at the current rate.

Israeli news site, YNet News, points to the strategic military advantage such a breakthrough would deliver as well as the medical importance of the medication, which could allow cancer patients to be exposed to greater doses of radiation offering a more powerful weapon in the fight against the disease. The medication could also provide some comfort for those situated close to nuclear power stations.

Source: YNet News, Cleveland BioLabs.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha