New Topical Therapy May Reduce Effects of Radiation on Skin

New Topical Therapy May Reduce Effects of Radiation on Skin
A new topical therapy can reduce the skin effects of radiation exposure in both animal and human models, according to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. The study, "A Topical Mitochondria-Targeted Redox Cycling Nitroxide Mitigates Oxidative Stress Induced Skin Damage," may help prevent skin damage in a large number of cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy to treat their disease. The skin is the largest human organ, providing the first line of defense against any external insult. However, radiation exposure, either through artificial or natural ultraviolet (UV) light, radiation therapy, or more rarely, from nuclear accidents, may cause severe skin damage. This occurs due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon radiation exposure, which leads to severe oxidative damage and inflammation, contributing to late tissue injury. In an attempt to reduce the radiation poisoning caused by an accident at a nuclear power facility, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that a topical therapy could benefit the nearly 1 million cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy to the skin annually in the U.S., including patients with breast, and head and neck cancers. "During the course of radiation therapy, patients can develop irritating and painful skin burns that can lead to dangerous infections and diminished quality of life," Louis Falo, MD, chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the Pitt School of Medicine and corresponding author for the study, said in a
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