Radiation-Fighting Drug

A hydroxylase inhibitor that prolongs the action of a gut-protective protein shows promise in mice as a treatment for radiation poisoning.

By | May 16, 2014

WIKIMEDIA, NEPHRONA protein that protects the cells that line the gut may be able to prevent gastrointestinal damage following radiation, which can often be fatal, according to a study published this week (May 14) in Science Translational Medicine.  A team led by Amato Giaccia of the Stanford University School of Medicine found that in mice a drug called dimethyloxallyl glycine (DMOG), which neutralizes enzymes that reduce levels of this protein, called hypoxia-inducible factor 2 (HIF2), protected against radiation-induced gut damage.

The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of a plan to develop medical interventions for use after a “dirty bomb” is detonated. But Giaccia’s team next plans to develop a version of the drug that can be used to protect healthy cells in people undergoing radiation therapy. Current therapies concentrate radiation narrowly around the target, such as a tumor, but metastasized cancer cells can spread the disease to other parts of the body. With a drug like Giaccia’s to protect gut cells, cancer patients might be able to undergo full-body radiation therapy, perhaps halting the tumor’s spread.

“We’re thinking about using this to transform radiotherapy from a localized type of therapy to a systemic therapy,” Giaccia told Nature News. “The potential to be able to use these drugs as clinical radioprotectors is not unreasonable.”

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. How Fats Influence the Microbiome
  2. Censored Professor Quits
    The Nutshell Censored Professor Quits

    Alice Dreger is resigning from the faculty of Northwestern University, claiming that the administration censored her work in a faculty journal.

  3. Opinion: Engineering the Epigenome
  4. Psychology’s Failure to Replicate
Advertisement
Eppendorf
Eppendorf
Advertisement
Life Technologies