History and Development of Selenium-based Radioprotectors: Distinctions between the Inorganic and Organic Forms
Selenium compounds, in both inorganic and organic forms have been explored for development as radioprotectors, agents used to minimize the deleterious effects of radiation. Most of the research in this direction has been focused on inorganic selenium, including several clinical studies where selenium supplementation yielded useful outcomes in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Since organic selenium is less toxic than inorganic selenium, researchers are now focusing on the development of organoselenium compounds for radioprotection. Both natural and synthetic organoselenium compounds are being examined and one such water-soluble selenium compound, 3,3′-diselenodipropionic acid (DSePA) developed by our group, showed promising activity at pre-clinical stages. These results, along with the current status and future scope of research, are discussed in this chapter.