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Mil Med. 2004 Nov;169(11):850-5.

A review of multi-threat medical countermeasures against chemical warfare and terrorism.

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  • 1US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5400, USA.


The Multi-Threat Medical Countermeasure (MTMC) hypothesis has been proposed with the aim of developing a single countermeasure drug with efficacy against different pathologies caused by multiple classes of chemical warfare agents. Although sites and mechanisms of action and the pathologies caused by different chemical insults vary, common biochemical signaling pathways, molecular mediators, and cellular processes provide targets for MTMC drugs. This article will review the MTMC hypothesis for blister and nerve agents and will expand the scope of the concept to include other chemicals as well as briefly consider biological agents. The article will also consider how common biochemical signaling pathways, molecular mediators, and cellular processes that contribute to clinical pathologies and syndromes may relate to the toxicity of threat agents. Discovery of MTMC provides the opportunity for the integration of diverse researchers and clinicians, and for the exploitation of cutting-edge technologies and drug discovery. The broad-spectrum nature of MTMC can augment military and civil defense to combat chemical warfare and chemical terrorism.

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