Leukemia Inhibitor Factor as a Radioprotectant for Gastrointestinal Injury Following Cancer Radiotherapy

LIF protects mice from Ionizing radiation:

survival is measured in control group without treatment (WT) vs. those treated with LIF (WT + LIF).

Invention Summary:

Currently there is no effective therapy for prevention or treatment of radiation therapy-induced gastrointestinal (GI) tract injury.

Rutgers researchers have recently discovered that leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), a naturally occurring cytokine, is present in the intestinal stem cells and is critical in maintaining intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and regeneration. Further, Rutgers researchers demonstrated in mice that LIF could protect the GI tract from injuries resulted from irradiation, leading to: (1) 50% higher regeneration of intestinal epithelium after irradiation compared to controls, (2) less systemic symptoms such as weight loss, and (3) remarkably higher overall survival. Additionally, LIF could be potentially useful for treating other diseases where intestinal epithelium regeneration is lacking.

Market Applications:

  • Radiation or chemotherapy induced gut syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Graft versus host disease


  • Highly efficacious protection of the intestinal epithelium
  • Prolonged overall survival in vivo
  • Potential efficacy in multiple indications

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending and patent publication: WO2020176752. Available for licensing and/or collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Ryan Escolin
Licensing Manager, Life Sciences
Rutgers University
Gastrointestinal disease