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Int J Radiat Biol. 2004 Jan;80(1):3-10.

Post-irradiation approaches to treatment of radiation injuries in the context of radiological terrorism and radiation accidents: a review.

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Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.



Events of the recent past have focused attention on the possibility of radiological (nuclear) terrorism and on the implications of such terrorist threats for radiation accident preparedness. This review discusses recent advances in the knowledge about how radiation injuries from such events might be treated pharmacologically, and the practical barriers to clinical utilization of these approaches.


A wide range of pharmacological approaches are being developed in the laboratory that could greatly expand the ability to treat acute and chronic radiation injuries. However, there are currently a variety of practical and legal barriers that would prevent the actual clinical use of most of the approaches. There are also the potential weaknesses in most of the current programmes for dealing with the consequences of radiation accidents or nuclear terrorism, including the absence of widespread radiation biodosimetry capabilities and the resulting inability to triage. If a major radiation accident or terrorist event occurs, the lack of biodosimetry and treatment capabilities will be compounded by widespread public fear of 'radiation'.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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