RENO, Nev. — Researchers continue to look at tungsten in their study of a mysterious childhood leukemia cluster in Fallon, a military and agricultural town 60 miles east of Reno.
Scientists who gathered Friday at a University of Nevada-Reno symposium discussed the latest research into the Fallon epidemic and theorized the cluster might have been fueled by environmental factors that harmed the genes of the children.
Since 1997, 17 children with ties to Fallon have been diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. Three have died. Health officials say about one leukemia case in five years would be expected. The last child in the group was diagnosed in 2004.
Scientists are searching for the rest of the 17 families involved in the Fallon cluster.
Dr. Joseph Wiemels of the University of California-San Francisco told symposium participants that Nevada law forbids state health officials from revealing the addresses of cancer patients.
But scientists need as many of the 17 families as possible to help with the cluster investigation, he said.
The research has been funded by $750,000 in federal grants obtained by our own Senator Harry Reid for the Fallon Families First Foundation.
The RGJ has a story posted here.