Pharmacology of natural radioprotectors

Gil Im Mun, Seoyoung Kim, Eun Choi, Cha Soon Kim, Yun Sil Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Radiotherapy is one of the most efficient ways to treat cancer. However, deleterious effects, such as acute and chronic toxicities that reduce the quality of life, may result. Naturally occurring compounds have been shown to be non-toxic over wide dose ranges and are inexpensive and effective. Additionally, pharmacological strategies have been developed that use radioprotectors to inhibit radiation-induced toxicities. Currently available radioprotectors have several limitations, including toxicity. In this review, we present the mechanisms of proven radioprotectors, ranging from free radical scavenging (the best-known mechanism of radioprotection) to molecular-based radioprotection (e.g., upregulating expression of heat shock proteins). Finally, we discuss naturally occurring compounds with radioprotective properties in the context of these mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1050
Number of pages18
JournalArchives of Pharmacal Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea, (2017R1A2B2002327, 2017M2A2A702019560, and 2018R1A5A2025286), funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science and ICT). All authors declared no conflict of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s).


  • Mechanisms
  • Natural compounds
  • Radioprotectors
  • Toxicity


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