ATSDR Slates October 24 Public Meeting on Polycythemia Vera

Thursday, October 15, 2009
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The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will hold a public meeting in the Tamaqua Area Auditorium at Tamaqua High School, 500 Penn St, Tamaqua, PA, on Saturday, October 24, 2009 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. to update area residents on recent efforts regarding polycythemia vera (PV).

At the meeting, representatives from ATSDR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Geisinger Clinic, and the Myeloproliferative Disease (MPD) Research Consortium will present overviews of their current PV research projects.  In addition, ATSDR will provide an update on the ongoing JAK2 screening in the local community. Residents can also learn more about a community group which will work with investigators and the community in these efforts.

PV is a rare form of blood cancer. The JAK2 genetic marker occurs in more than 95% of PV patients. Because of the elevated number of PV cases in this area, ATSDR is in the process of screening almost 1,500 local residents for the JAK2 genetic marker. 

It is not known at this time if the JAK2 marker always leads to PV or another blood disease.  Many experts believe people with PV and related blood disorders may test positive for the JAK2 marker for a number of years before ever exhibiting symptoms of PV.

MEDIA NOTICE: A media availability session with the presenters and ATSDR officials will be held on site from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m., prior to the start of the public session ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.

Members of the news media can request an interview by calling the NCEH/ ATSDR Office of Communication at 770-488-0700.

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Related News Releases For Schuylkill County, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania

Release Date:  Friday, September 14, 2012
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will update community members on the polycythemia vera (PV) research projects in the tri-county area of Schuylkill, Luzerne, and Carbon Counties, PA on September 20, 2012 in Tamaqua, PA.

Release Date:  Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has released its final report regarding the Community Health Screening for the JAK2 genetic marker.

Release Date:  Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Following two rounds of community health screening in northeastern Pennsylvania for the JAK2 genetic marker, 19 (1.6%) of the 1,170 people tested were found to have this mutation. This is the first time large scale screening for this JAK2 genetic mutation has been done in the United States. The frequency of the mutation in the general population is not known. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted the screenings in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

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Page last reviewed: October 15, 2009