Radiation injury treatment network (RITN): Healthcare professionals preparing for a mass casualty radiological or nuclear incident

Joel R. Ross, Cullen Case, Dennis Confer, Daniel J. Weisdorf, David Weinstock, Robert Krawisz, John Chute, Julie Wilhauk, Willis Navarro, Robert Hartzman, C. Norman Coleman, Richard Hatchett, Nelson Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the history, composition, and activities of the Radiation Injury Treatment Network (RITN). The Radiation Injury Treatment Network® is a cooperative effort of the National Marrow Donor Program and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. The goals of RITN are to educate hematologists, oncologists, and stem cell transplant practitioners about their potential involvement in the response to a radiation incident and provide treatment expertise. Injuries to the marrow system readily occur when a victim is exposed to ionising radiation. This focus therefore leverages the expertise of these specialists who are accustomed to providing the intensive supportive care required by patients with a suppressed marrow function. Following a radiological incident, RITN centres may be asked to: Accept patient transfers to their institutions; provide treatment expertise to practitioners caring for victims at other centres; travel to other centres to provide medical expertise; or provide data on victims treated at their centres. Moving forward, it is crucial that we develop a coordinated interdisciplinary approach in planning for and responding to radiological and nuclear incidents. The ongoing efforts of radiation biologists, radiation oncologists, and health physicists can and should complement the efforts of RITN and government agencies. Conclusion: RITN serves as a vital partner in preparedness and response efforts for potential radiological and nuclear incidents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-753
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by NIH U19 AI 067798 and Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research Grant #N00014-10-1-0204 to the National Marrow Donor Program.


  • cell therapy
  • emergency preparedness
  • emergency response
  • haematology - radiation
  • radiation accidents
  • radiation injury


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