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Antioxidant formula prior to radiation exposure may prevent DNA injury
Date:3/29/2011

ough many antioxidants are poorly absorbed by the body, one particular mixture was effective in protecting against the specific type of injury caused by medical imaging exams. People are 70 percent water, and X-rays collide with water molecules to produce free radicals (groups of atoms with an unpaired number of electrons that are dangerous when they react with cellular components, causing damage and even cell death) that can go on to do damage by direct ionization of DNA and other cellular targets, noted Murphy. The research team evaluated whether a special combination of antioxidants have an ability to neutralize these free radicals before they can do damage.

"Our intent was to develop an effective proprietary formula of antioxidants to be taken orally prior to exposure that can protect a patient's DNA against free radical mediated radiation injury, and we have applied to patent this formulation and a specific dose strategy," said Murphy.

The experiments measured DNA damage as a surrogate marker for DNA injury. Blood was drawn from two study volunteers in duplicate, creating four individual tests per data point. DNA strand breaks are repaired by a big protein complex that binds to the site of the damage. The researchers labeled one of the proteins with a fluorescent tag. Then, under a powerful 3-D microscope, the DNA is examined for signs of repair. The more repair that is seen, the more DNA damage must have been done by the CT scan to initiate that repair. The experiments clearly showed a reduction of DNA repair in the treatment group, which means that there was less DNA injury as a result of pre-administering the antioxidant mixture, said Murphy.

The researchers concede that this is a small study and that a lot more research needs to be done; however, these initial results point toward a positive future for this kind of treatment. The group says the next step is a clinical trial in Toronto.


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Contact: Ellen Acconcia
eacconcia@sirweb.org
703-460-5582
Society of Interventional Radiology
Source:Eurekalert

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