New Drug Could Take the Danger out of Radiation


A new drug could protect patients from otherwise fatal doses of radiation. Dimethyloxallyl glycine (DMOG), which is currently in trials as a treatment for chronic anaemia, has been shown to extend the lifetime of mice exposed to high amounts of radiation – while the entire control group died after 10 days, two-thirds of those given the drug were still alive 60 days after exposure. Potentially the most exciting aspects of the drug are that it can be taken orally, up to 24 hours after the exposure has taken place.

One of the largest causes of death from radiation exposure is radiation induced gastrointestinal syndrome (RIGS). This occurs when the radiation damages outer layers of the intestines and colon, leading to infection. This is exacerbated by the fact that radiation also damages bone marrow, leading to lower immune response, meaning that these infections can often be fatal. DMOG acts by inhibiting…

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