New drug protects against the deadly effects of nuclear radiation 24 hours after exposure

August 21, 2015, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
New drug protects against the deadly effects of nuclear radiation 24 hours after exposure

An interdisciplinary research team led by The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston reports a new breakthrough in countering the deadly effects of radiation exposure. A single injection of a regenerative peptide was shown to significantly increase survival in mice when given 24 hours after nuclear radiation exposure. The study currently appears in Laboratory Investigation, a journal in the Nature Publishing group.

UTMB lead author Carla Kantara, postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry and , said that a single injection of the investigative peptide drug TP508 given 24 hours after a potentially-lethal exposure to appears to significantly increase survival and delay mortality in mice by counteracting damage to the gastrointestinal system.

The threat of a nuclear incident, with the potential to kill or injure thousands of people, has raised global awareness about the need for medical countermeasures that can prevent radiation-induced bodily damage and keep people alive, even if given a day or more after contact with .

Exposure to high doses of radiation triggers a number of potentially lethal effects. Among the most severe of these effects is the gastrointestinal, or GI, toxicity syndrome that is caused by radiation-induced destruction of the intestinal lining. This type of GI damage decreases the ability of the body to absorb water and causes electrolyte imbalances, bacterial infection, intestinal leakage, sepsis and death.

The GI toxicity syndrome is triggered by radiation-induced damage to crypt cells in the small intestines and colon that must continuously replenish in order for the GI tract to work properly. Crypt cells are especially susceptible to and serve as an indicator of whether someone will survive after total body .

"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 and CEO of Chrysalis BioTherapeutics, Inc. "Because radiation-induced damage to the intestines plays such a key role in how well a person recovers from radiation exposure, it's crucial to develop novel medications capable of preventing GI damage."

The peptide drug TP508 was developed for use in stimulating repair of skin, bone and muscle tissues. It has previously been shown to begin tissue repair by stimulating proper blood flow, reducing inflammation and reducing cell death. In human clinical trials, the drug has been reported to increase healing of diabetic foot ulcers and wrist fractures with no drug-related adverse events.

"The current results suggest that the peptide may be an effective emergency nuclear countermeasure that could be delivered within 24 hours after exposure to increase survival and delay mortality, giving victims time to reach facilities for advanced medical treatment," Kantara said.

Explore further: New blood test quickly reveals severity of radiation injury

More information: Laboratory Investigation, www.nature.com/labinvest/journ … binvest2015103a.html

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8 comments

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zaxxon451
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2015
And will be available to those in need at a price only the wealthy can afford.
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Aug 22, 2015
And will be available to those in need at a price only the wealthy can afford.

Depends. If the same drug is used for ulcers and wrist fractures, it can't be exceedingly expensive.

During a nuclear accident, it would be the responsibility of the government and the power company to dish out treatment anyways.
virgil_fenn
not rated yet Aug 22, 2015
The article is misleading on two points. It refers to a "nuclear event" without specifying that event to be a nuclear bomb blast. Ionizing radiation has an LD50 of about 4 Gray in a short time frame (less than a week). That high of an exposure is not possible from a nuclear accident at a power plant to anyone outside the reactor containment building.
The actual dose given to the mice is significant information but was not included.
SR-71
1 / 5 (1) Aug 22, 2015
@virgil_fenn:
As per abstract (reachable via the link provided): the dose should be 9 Gy, LD100/15.
jljenkins
1 / 5 (2) Aug 22, 2015
How many types of paid spammers is this joke pimping for now?
Don Sebastian
not rated yet Aug 23, 2015
I don't understand they already have RadAway and Rad-X why do we need another drug?
zaxxon451
not rated yet Aug 24, 2015

During a nuclear accident, it would be the responsibility of the government and the power company to dish out treatment anyways.


You have more faith than I do in the ethics of our energy companies and corporate owned regulators.
http://www.altern...accident
zaxxon451
not rated yet Aug 24, 2015

Depends. If the same drug is used for ulcers and wrist fractures, it can't be exceedingly expensive.


Are you sure? The cash cost of 30 capsules of prescription ulcer medication Prilosec ranges from $215 to $350.
http://www.drugs....prilosec

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