A drug, currently under development, has been found effective in providing protection against damaging effects of radiation exposure.
The research team from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has found that experimental drug JP4-039 protects cells from being damaged by radiation exposure.
Lead researcher Dr. Joel Greenberger, professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Pitt revealed that JP4-039 assists the mitochondria, the energy generator of all cells, in combating irradiation-induced cell death.
For this study, cells treated immediately after irradiation with JP4-039 demonstrated significant radioprotection, suggesting a potential role for the drug as a mitigator of radiation damage.
"Currently, no drugs on the market counteract the effects of radiation exposure," said Dr. Greenberger.
"We know this drug can counteract the damage caused by irradiation, and now we want to develop the ideal dosage, one that is effective for the general population while remaining non-toxic.
"Our goal is to take this drug through a phase I clinical trial and, once the dosage is established, develop the drug for late-stage clinical trials and market licensing," he added.
The findings were presented at 100th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).