New Treatment for Radiation Toxicities May Be Feasible

Involves fluoroquinolone plus recombinant bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In mice with extensive radiation exposure, a combination of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic and recombinant bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein fragment (rBPI21) improves survival, speeds up hematopoietic recovery, and promotes expansion of stem and progenitor cells, according to an experimental study published in the Nov. 23 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Eva C. Guinan, M.D., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues evaluated treatment of radiation toxicity with an endotoxin-neutralizing protein, with or without a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, in mice. Mice were radiated with a single 7-Gy radiation dose, which killed 95 percent of them by 30 days. Twenty four hours after radiation, the mice were given twice-daily subcutaneous injections of rBPI21 or vehicle alone for 14 or 30 days, with or without an oral fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

The investigators found that combined rBPI21 plus fluoroquinolone treatment improved survival, sped up hematopoietic recovery, and promoted expansion of stem and progenitor cells, more than either fluoroquinolone alone or vehicle plus fluoroquinolone.

"The observed efficacy of rBPI21 plus fluoroquinolone initiated 24 hours after lethal irradiation, combined with their established favorable bioactivity and safety profiles in critically ill humans, suggests the potential clinical use of this radiation mitigation strategy and supports its further evaluation," the authors write.

One of the authors disclosed financial ties to the biotechnology industry.

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