Drug to Counter Nuclear Radiation 24 Hours After Exposure

With Fukushima nuclear accident still fresh in our minds, a new injection will reduce the radiation effects of such nuclear accidents even if they are given one day after the mishap. While it cannot reverse the effects, it can only reduce the adverse impact, said researchers.

Exposure to radiation triggers a number of potentially high lethal effects. In which, the most severe is the gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity syndrome caused by the destruction of the intestinal barrier, resulting in bacterial translocation, systemic bacteremia, sepsis, and death.

A single injection of regenerative peptide TP508, 24 hours after lethal radiation exposure appears to increase survival and delay mortality by mitigating radiation-induced intestinal and colonic toxicity.

Originally the drug was developed for use in stimulating repair of skin, bone and muscle tissues by stimulating proper blood flow, reducing inflammation and reducing cell death.

The drug has also been reported to increase healing of diabetic foot ulcers and wrist fractures with no drug-related adverse events.

“The lack of available treatments that can effectively protect against radiation-induced damage has prompted a search for countermeasures that can minimize the effects of radiation after exposure, accelerate tissue repair in radiation-exposed individuals and increase the chances for survival following a nuclear event,” said Darrell Carney, UTMB adjunct professor in biochemistry and molecular biology.

This drug may be an effective emergency nuclear countermeasure that could be delivered within 24 h post exposure to increase survival and delay mortality, giving victims time to reach clinical sites for advanced medical treatment.

The study appeared in the journal Laboratory Investigation.

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