The serious radiation leaks at Japan's damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant have reawakened public fears about radiation sickness. But what if there were a drug that could not only protect people from dangerous levels of radiation exposure but also heal those actually exposed to damaging nuclear radiation?
日本核泄漏事件重新唤起民众对辐射疾病的恐惧。如果有一种药物,不但能够保护人类免遭辐射伤害,还能治愈核辐射造成的损伤,那该多好?

Researchers say they are developing such a drug - one that can both prevent and repair human cell damage from all types of radiation exposure.
研究人员说,他们正在研发一种新药,可以防止受到辐射,并可以修复被任何辐射线损坏的人类细胞。

Such a healing medication has the potential to lessen panic and fear generated by catastrophic reactor accidents. Plant workers trying to make repairs near a crippled reactor's radioactive core might be less fearful if they could take a pill to repair their own radiation-damaged cells.
这种药物可能减轻核反应堆灾难性事故所引起的恐慌。在故障核反应堆附近进行修护的工人,如果能事先服用可以修复他们遭辐射损害的细胞的药物,可能会少一些恐惧。

Ramesh Kumar, the CEO of a U.S. drug research firm called Onconova, says his company has just such a wonder drug in the works.
昂克诺瓦Onconova医药公司执行长雷米什·库玛尔说,他的公司正在进行有关Ex-Rad这种“神药”的研发工作。

The company has been collaborating on the drug, called Ex-Rad, with scientists at a U.S. Defense Department research laboratory. Kumar says early animal trials have been promising.
昂克诺瓦公司和美国国防部的科学家合作研发这种药物。库玛尔说,早期动物试验的结果令人兴奋。

“Ex-Rad is a drug which is effective in saving a cell damaged by radiation," he says, "and we have found that it can be given in advance of exposure to radiation up to a day ahead or it can be given up to a day after the exposure to radiation.”
他说:“Ex-Rad能有效修复遭辐射损伤的细胞。它可以在接触辐射前一天服用,或者在遭到辐射的次日服用。”

There are existing antidotes for radiation exposure which have been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Potassium iodide, also known as the radiation pill, prevents the body's absorption of the radioactive iodine present in reactor emissions. For a person poisoned by radioactive isotopes such as plutonium and cesium - types of radiation being released from the Fukushima reactors - FDA-approved drugs such as Prussian Blue capsules can quickly flush radioactive elements from the body. However, right now there are no drugs specifically for treating radiation sickness itself.
美国食品药物管理局核准过一些治疗辐射伤害的解毒药物。其中碘化钾可以防止人体吸收核反应堆泄出的放射性碘。如果有人受到钸和铯等放射性同位素的辐射,美国食品药物管理局核准的普鲁士蓝胶囊能够迅速将身体内的放射性元素冲洗掉。

The Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute has been leading the Pentagon's quest for a more effective antidote to radiation sickness, which has a wide range of symptoms.
美军放射生物研究所是国防部研究有效治疗辐射疾病药物的主要机构。

“The symptoms of acute radiation sickness will be just exactly like a terrible flu," says Col. Andrew Huff, a spokesman for the research institute. "The person would have headache. They would feel very tired. They would have little bit of fever. They might have some vomiting at higher doses all of this and more but at survivable doses it would come on within 24 to 36 hours."
研究所发言人安德鲁·赫夫说,目前食品药物管理局核准的药物,还不能够治疗同时出现的许多症状。赫夫说:“严重的辐射疾病症状就和严重流感一样。患者会头痛、疲劳、发烧,还可能会呕吐 。还有很多其它症状。在辐射剂量不足以导致死亡情形下,这些症状会在24至36小时之内出现。”

According to Huff, the body loses its platelet and neutrophil supply and people can eventually die of bleeding. He says the Pentagon's search for radiation sickness treatments is intensifying.
赫夫表示,国防部正在加紧对辐射疾病的研究。

“The other more vexing problem, the one that we really have to worry about for larger numbers of people - if there were nuclear terrorism - is how much external ionizing penetrating radiation a person would get after a nuclear detonation."
他说:“另外一个更伤脑筋、也是我们为大批的人所担心的问题是,如果发生了核恐怖活动,一个人受到外来的电离辐射会有多少?”

To combat such a crisis - or to treat people exposed to radiation from a damaged nuclear reactor - the Department of Defense and Onconova have collaborated on the development of Ex-Rad.
为了应付这种危机,或者为治疗遭受核反应堆受损后辐射泄漏侵袭的民众,美国国防部和昂克诺瓦医药公司合作研发这种叫作Ex-Rad的药物。

“FDA has devised a development path for drugs like Ex-Rad which involves clinical trials, animal studies, and additional controls for manufacturing and we are in the process of completing these studies," says Kumar, whose company is developing Ex-Rad. "We started this process in 2008 under and FDA's Investigational New Drug Exemption. We have carried out clinical studies in human subjects for safety and we are in the process of continuing to do animal efficacy studies so once all of these studies are completed we can get an approval for specific indication. It could be prophylactic use before - or after - exposure. It could be injectable or oral.”
昂克诺瓦公司执行长雷米什·库玛尔说:“食品药物管理局为Ex-Rad一类的药物制订了一套研发途径,包括临床试验、动物试验,以及增加对药品生产的控制。我们正在完成这些试验的过程中。这项研发开始于2008年,我们已经进行了人类安全临床试验,正在继续对动物做疗效研究。 所有这些研究都完成之后,我们会获得特殊核准。Ex-Rad可以在遭受辐射之前或之后使用,注射或口服。”

Kumar says Ex-Rad won't be available for at least another two or three years. In the meantime, government officials warn the public to be cautious about the growing number of claims being made on the Internet for anti-radiation drugs that purport to be miracle cures.
库玛尔说,Ex-Rad至少在两、三年内还不会上市。与此同时,政府官员警告民众,不要轻信网路上越来越多有关抗辐射灵丹妙药的广告。