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Clemson awarded $2M to study radiation-induced bone loss
Date:10/16/2007

CLEMSON The department of bioengineering at Clemson University has received $2 million in grants to study radiation-induced bone loss. Both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a branch of NASA, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI www.nsbri.org), are primary contributors of funds to the study as a result of its two-dimensional application.

The study addresses bone loss that occurs as the result of radiation therapy for cancer treatment and from solar and cosmic radiation during space exploration.

NIH is contributing nearly $400,000 in grant money for Clemson researchers to develop an animal model that will enable them to study bone loss caused by radiation therapy, which could result in the kind of knowledge necessary to develop bone loss therapies to aid a large and increasing community of cancer survivors. Concurrently, NASA and NSBRI are funding a $1.6 million grant to support research that will examine the effect of space radiation on bone loss for astronauts.

The two dimensions of the bone loss study are similar in that both involve testing mouse and rat bones after exposure to radiation, but the two studies vary in the type and amount of radiation. Clinical doses of radiation treatment for pelvic cancers come largely from high dose X-rays compared to lower doses of proton and heavy ion radiation to which astronauts will be exposed in future spaceflight missions.

Ted Bateman, professor and director of the Osteoporosis Biomechanics Laboratory (www.batemanlab.com), is conducting the research to understand the molecular and cellular basis for bone loss caused by radiation. The knowledge that his lab develops will assist in the development of countermeasures applicable to both cancer treatment and spaceflight.

These grants are a tremendous endorsement of our bone loss research, said Bateman. This is an untreated
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Contact: Ted Bateman
bateman@clemson.edu
864-656-0180
Clemson University
Source:Eurekalert

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