But now, researchers in South Korea have developed a new type of drug that could prevent some of the tissue damage radiation causes, which has shown promise in tests on cultured human organoids and mice.
Radiation harms tissues in several ways. The first is when DNA is directly hit by radiation and the energy causes mutations. The second is more indirect, when the radiation hits water in the body which produces free radical molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS). These can then cause widespread damage to cells and tissues.
The new treatment is designed to target this latter scenario. Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in South Korea turned to antioxidant nanomaterials that could help fight back against ROS.