Roswell Park Researcher Awarded Grant to Study Radiation Antidotes

BUFFALO, NY - Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center announced a grant award for $1.7M from the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Disease to study some human therapeutics targeting acute radiation syndrome. Andrei Gudkov, PhD, Senior Vice President Basic Science; Chair, Cell Stress Biology; of Roswell Park's Scientific Affairs department, is the principal investigator.

Radiation toxicity is largely due to damage to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the hematopoietic (HP) system. Various therapies have been discovered to protect or restore the HP system, but GI radiation syndrome remains poorly treatable, resulting in significant mortality and reduced quality of life for survivors.

In preliminary studies it was found that the bacterial flagellin protein, acting as an optimized Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) ligand with decreased immunogenicity (CBLB502), was created by deleting portions of the flagellin that are non-essential for TLR5 activation. CBLB502 is effective and non-toxic in mice and non-human primates and is being developed into a stable, self-administrable radiation antidote projected for biodefense applications. This study will focus on deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of CBLB502.

Dr. Gudkov said, “Many normal tissues and particularly those in the GI tract are susceptible to complications and ultimately tissue damage induced by radiotherapy in cancer treatment. Completion of this study is expected to provide critical information about an emerging class of radiation antidotes that will allow improved understanding of their potential for use to reduce and prevent side effects of radiotherapy.”

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit Roswell Park's website at, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email

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