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Local therapy irradiated skin showed promising results

4 January 2018 16:20

radiation therapyA team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh showed that recently developed topical therapy to be applied before or after exposure to prevent skin damage in animal and human models.

According to Luis Falo, MD, the results, published in the «Journal of Investigative Dermatology» magazine, will coordinate efforts to further clinical research and technology licensing.

Skin - the largest human organ that protects the body from physical, chemical and environmental impacts. Radiation damage to the skin from ultraviolet solar exposure leads to dermatitis, radiation sickness, and can be fatal.

In 2008, Dr. Falo has started research in collaboration with Joel Greenberger, MD, Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology, and Peter Wipf, Professor Emeritus at the University of Chemistry.

Greenberger and Wipf investigated treatments to reduce the radiation exposure caused by the accident at the nuclear power plant. They found that the approaches developed and investigated in Pitt's School of Medicine, may benefit the annual one million people in the US who undergo radiation therapy for breast cancers, head and neck.

"During the course of irradiation in patients developing annoying and painful burns to the skin, which can lead to dangerous infections and impaired quality of life, - said Dr. Falo. - Sometimes it burns so severe that patients should discontinue treatment. Our results show that local therapy drugs initially prevents damage to the skin. "

In the laboratory of Dr. Wipf developed molecule designed to form an oxidation of free radicals in the mitochondria of cells, thereby preventing inflammation and cell death.

"It provides the best treatment option for patients undergoing radiation therapy with the prospect of a more simplified treatment regimen," - he said. A former student of Dr. Wipf, Joshua Pierce, Ph.D., who now runs his own laboratory at the University of North Carolina, synthesized molecule called JP4-039.

Dr. Falo has emphasized that he is optimistic about the effectiveness of the therapy in clinical trials because the treatment has shown good results in a model of human skin obtained from cosmetic procedures.

Going beyond radiation therapy, experts conduct further studies of molecules in order to reduce damage to the skin when exposed to the rays, including sunburn and molecular changes that lead to skin cancer.

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