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Injected Proteins Protect Mice From Lethal Radiation Dose 59

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-only-spock-knew-about-this dept.
ananyo writes "Two anti-clotting compounds already approved for use in humans may have a surprising role in treating radiation sickness. Last year's nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan renewed anxiety over the lack of treatments for radiation poisoning. It was long thought that the effects of exposure to high doses of radiation were instantaneous and irreversible, leading to destruction of the gut and loss of bone marrow cells, which damages blood-cell production and the immune system. The two compounds are thrombomodulin (Solulin/Recomodulin), currently approved in Japan to prevent thrombosis, and activated protein C (Xigris). Treating mice with either drug post-exposure led to an eightfold increase in key bone marrow cells needed for the production of white blood cells, and improved the survival rates of mice receiving lethal radiation doses by 40–80% (abstract). And yes, the lead author's name really is Geiger."
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Injected Proteins Protect Mice From Lethal Radiation Dose

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  • Re:Cancer? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:58PM (#40457057)

    Synthroid is cheap and readily available. If that's the cost for not dying of radiation exposure, that's a pretty cheap price.

  • Re:Cancer? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:26PM (#40457483) Journal

    We already know how to mostly prevent thyroid damage from radiation exposure. The thyroid is unique in that it uses large amounts of iodine in producing certain hormones. Unfortunately, many radioactive elements naturally break down into radioactive iodine (Iodine-131), and when the radioactive form is floating around your bloodstream, the thyroid dutifully absorbs it just as it would the non-radioactive version. That bioaccumulation of Iodine-131 in the thyroid is what causes such a high rate of thyroid cancer after radiation exposure. That's why the standard treatment for radiation exposure includes massive doses of normal iodine. By ensuring that most of the iodine that reaches the thyroid is not radioactive, the damage to the thyroid is dramatically reduced.

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.