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Ionizing Radiation Bioeffects and Countermeasures

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Human Factors and Medicine

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Bioindicator of effect disease, Biological and clinical dosimetry, carcinogenesis, civilianmilitary cooperation, depleted uranium, dose assessment, low level radiation, medical countermeasures, Radiobiology, risk communication, treatment of radiation injury


The Research Task Group, HFM-222 RTG, developed new diagnostic tools and contributed to the establishment and (FDA) approvement of new therapeutics for preventing and treating radiation injuries. However, uncompleted objectives such as studying the basis of radiation injuries, the health impact of lower doses that may be encountered in future operations, or clarifying the conditions of occurrence of multi-organ dysfunction syndrome and failure (MODS/MOF) and other aspects such as risk communication and promoting the civilian-military cooperation warrant a new three-year cycle of research. Medical and armament planners require scientifically founded data to develop guidance and recommendations in order to deal with the new situation described above. Recommendations must take into account operational as well as medical implications of exposure to ionizing radiation at a range from RES category 1 through 3 (STANAG 2083). Similarly, planners need to consider the radiological guidelines set out in the ACE Directive 80-63. The proposed RTG is required because no member nation alone has the expertise and resources in all these areas of interest. Therefore, a cooperative effort is necessary and should address the topics as listed below.


After reviewing progress made since the report of HFM-222 RTG, the RTG survey will focus on research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) on Ionizing Radiation Bioeffects and Medical Countermeasures.


1. Research into mechanisms of action of ionizing radiation injury (e.g. multi-organ dysfunction syndrome and failure (MODS/MOF)). 2. Research and development on biodosimetric methods to estimate the level of radiation exposure and on bioindicators of the effect to estimate the severity of radiation injury. These approaches facilitate and support diagnostic/triage of radiation induced health effects. 3. RDT&E into radioprotectants (administered before irradiation) and radiation mitigators and treatments (administered after irradiation). 4. Identification of predictors and prophylactic or therapeutic treatments for radiation-induced late effects such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataractogenesis or fibrosis. 5. Integration of medical expertise and RDT&E to provide specific recommendations to NATO COMEDS. Guidance to inform field commanders and deployed forces. 6. Developing tools for improving risk communication. 7. Delivering and introducing newly developed innovative tools of the RTG to the public and military Institutions in support of the civilian-military cooperation.

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