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In what has to be one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of military medicine, the U. S. military has developed a radiation protection drug known as Ex-Rad that can give protection through DNA repair against otherwise lethal dosages of radiation. Ex-Rad, which is administered as an injection or orally, can be given either before or after exposure. While Ex-Rad officials are continuing to work with the FDA, it has successfully cleared two clinical studies showing it is safe. Read more: foxnews.com...
Ex-Rad is among a series of small molecule kinase inhibitors developed for modifying cell cycle distribution patterns in cancer cells subjected to radiation therapy, and it has been identified as a potential candidate for radiation protection studies. We have investigated its radioprotective efficacy using mouse and in vitro models. Thirty-day survival studies with C3H/HeN male mice revealed 88% survival when 500 mg/kg of Ex-Rad was injected subcutaneously 24 h and 15 min before gamma irradiation with 8.0 Gy. To understand Ex-Rad's mechanism of action, we also studied its radioprotective efficacy in lung fibroblast (HFL-1), skin fibroblast (AG1522) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Colony-forming assays indicated that Ex-Rad protected cells from radiation damage after exposure to (60)Co gamma radiation. A study using single-cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE; also known as the alkaline comet assay) showed that Ex-Rad protected cells from radiation-induced DNA damage. Western blot analyses indicated that the radiation protection provided by Ex-Rad resulted in reduced levels of pro-apoptosis proteins such as p53 as well as its downstream regulators p21, Bax, c-Abl and p73, indicating that Ex-Rad could rescue cells from ionizing radiation-induced p53-dependent apoptosis. In conclusion, it appears that Ex-Rad's radioprotective mechanisms involve prevention of p53-dependent and independent radiation-induced apoptosis.
The U.S. Army recently recommended to the Office of the Secretary of Defense that Ex-Rad be stockpiled for the benefit of our military. That puts the ball in the court of Pentagon leadership to make certain one of military medicine’s most successful achievements in recent years is fully realized and able to benefit Americans. Read more: foxnews.com...