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article imageNew drug can fight radiation

By Tim Sandle     May 17, 2014 in Science
A 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.
Through the use of a hydroxylase inhibitor, a chemical action appears to prolong the action of a gut-protective protein shows promise in mice as a treatment for radiation poisoning.
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 the mice against radiation-induced gut damage.
Based on this, the research group plan to develop a version of the drug that can be used to protect healthy cells in people undergoing radiation therapy. According to Nature News, 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 this type of drug to protect gut cells, cancer patients might be able to undergo full-body radiation therapy, perhaps halting the tumor’s spread.
The findings have been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, in a paper titled "PHD Inhibition Mitigates and Protects Against Radiation-Induced Gastrointestinal Toxicity via HIF2."
More about Radiation, hydroxylase inhibitor, gutprotective protein, Protein
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