Gap Cancer-601: Validate countermeasures to demonstrate efficacy in reducing radiation carcinogenesis and degenerative risks with shared biology.
Last Published:  11/23/20 11:55:10 AM (Central)
Responsible Element: Space Radiation (SR)
Status: Open

There are currently no medical countermeasures that are validated to mitigate to the long-term health effects of the chronic low dose-rate mixed field irradiation experienced in the spaceflight environment. While assessment of surrogate endpoints using in vitro model systems, and preliminary animal studies can support identification of promising countermeasure candidates, operationalization requires validation in using both large-scale animal cohorts where appropriate and an assessment of feasibility for spaceflight. Drug-based countermeasures will focus on supplements, nutraceuticals, and repurposing FDA approved pharmaceuticals or FDA investigational new drugs targeting inflammation; oxidative stress; aging-related processes, or other reasonably viable surrogate endpoints of radiation carcinogenesis and degenerative disease. Non-drug based countermeasures include, but are not limited to, health outcome or biomarker surveillance and monitoring techniques, exercise regimens, dietary modification, translatable clinical cancer prevention strategies, individualized risk assessment to drive personalized medical care, etc. Countermeasure assessment needs to emphasize safety, ease-of-use, implementation in healthy populations, stability, and feasibility for long duration missions. To accomplish this task, multiple large-scale animal studies will assess drug-based countermeasure efficacy in reducing the risk of radiation-associated carcinogenesis and degenerative diseases from chronic, low dose-rate radiation.

Promising drug-based countermeasure candidates will undergo validation in directed ground-based large-scale animal studies, or in biological model systems deemed as appropriate surrogates for carcinogenesis and degenerative diseases. Non-drug based countermeasures will be assessed based on countermeasure development plan. Operationalization of countermeasures and development of integrated countermeasure strategy will use input from advisory boards and workshop groups that integrate spaceflight operations relevant to crew health. 

Target for Closure
  • Completion of large-scale animal studies that demonstrate drug-based countermeasure efficacy with sufficient statistical power in the chronic, low dose rate, space radiation environment.
  • Incorporation of countermeasure efficacy into computational model systems to assess changes in REID.
  • Operationalization of countermeasures for spaceflight.
  • Countermeasure strategy for prevention, mitigation, monitoring, and treatment of long-term health risks associated with radiation exposure.
  • Updated recommendations for clinical practice guidelines incorporating use of validated countermeasures.
Risk Risk of Radiation Carcinogenesis
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