Question: Which drug is the first radioprotectant approved by the U.S. FDA?
Answer: Amifostine is the first radioprotectant approved by the U.S. FDA; approved in 1999. The cited reference points out that amifostine is “a freely soluble organic thiophosphate cytoprotective agent used to reduce toxicities associated with certain cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It is indicated to reduce the incidence of moderate to severe xerostomia in patients undergoing post-operative radiation treatment for head and neck cancer in which the radiation port includes a substantial portion of the parotid glands. Amifostine just be administered IV and is typically given 15 to 30 minutes before radiotherapy. It is not effective when administered post-exposure. (Koenig KL et al. Medical treatment of radiological causalities: Current concepts. 2005 Anns Emerg Med 45(6):643-654)