April 6, 2009 --Researchers have identified genes that affect how the human body responds to radiation. That finding could lead to better treatment for diseases such as cancer. The researchers found that human cells react very differently to radiation, depending on which genes are involved. That means one day doctors may be able to fine tune radiation therapy. They might be able to identify people most likely to have bad side effects from radiation and protect them, perhaps by lowering the dose.
The discovery may also lead to the development of drugs that can help radiation work better against tumors.
The study is reported in the journal Nature.