Further studies of Radon Therapy
GREWIS project financed for another two years
The research cooperation on genetic risks and the anti-inflammatory action of ionizing radiation, GREWIS, has been prolonged by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for another two years. In this project eight groups from the Universities of Darmstadt, Erlangen, Frankfurt and the GSI department for biophysics cooperate to study biological effects of radon exposure in therapy and environment.
Every year thousands of patients suffering from rheumatic diseases undergo radon treatment either by bathing in radon containing water or breathing air containing radon in radon galleries. The radon treatment is based on a long lasting medical experience and yields pain relieve for many patients, although the basis of the medical action is not understood on a physical, cellular and molecular level. The densely ionizing alpha particles emitted from radon and its progenies produce the largest and most efficient contribution to the totally emitted dose. Their physical and radiobiological effects in cell cultures, tissues and in patients are studied in detail by the different GREWIS members. In the framework of the patient studies genetic alterations and mutations are studied after radon exposure which represents a major contribution of the radiation burden especially in uranium containing areas.
During the last two years of research and successful collaboration in the GREWIS consortium, important results concerning the physical and biological action of radon could be obtained and cellular alterations in patient blood could be measured. With the renewed funding of more than two million euro these studies will be continued with the goal of optimizing the radon therapy and determining the risk of radon exposure with higher precision.