New approach for treating recurrent prostate cancer on the horizon

June 15, 2009

A new study shows that an alpha-particle emitting radiopeptide—radioactive material bound to a synthetic peptide, a component of protein—is effective for treating prostate cancer in mice, according to researchers. The results could eventually result in a significant breakthrough in prostate cancer treatment, especially for patients whose cancer recurs after the prostate is removed.

"Our study shows that this novel form of treatment has the potential to target and destroy with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue," said Damian Wild, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland, lead author of the study. "Eventually, this therapy could give hope to some of the hardest-to-treat patients and also could be applied to other types of cancer."

Every year, more than 186,000 men in the United States are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. The most common types of treatment include surgical removal of some, or all, of the prostate, followed by radiation therapy. More than 30,000 men each year who have had their prostates removed experience recurrence of the cancer. In most of these cases, the disease cannot be localized and treated adequately with conventional treatments; therefore, a systemic treatment that efficiently kills small tumors is needed.

Because tumor cells readily bind with certain peptides, researchers have been able to develop highly specific radiopeptides that bind with and treat them using specific therapeutic radioactive substances attached to the radiopeptide. Prostate cancer cells—and many other types of cancer cells—have an overabundance of gastrin-releasing peptide receptors, making the cancer a strong candidate for treatment with radiopeptides.

The study compared two different types of radiopeptides. One group of mice was injected with 213 Bi-DOTA-PESIN, which emits alpha particles that are effective at killing cancer cells. The other group was injected with beta-emitting 177 Lu-DOTA-PESIN, which are also effective in tumor cell-killing, but can also cause damage to nearby healthy cells. Alpha particles are able to kill cancer cells without damaging surrounding healthy tissue. A third group of mice received no treatment.

However, at the maximum tolerated dose, the alpha-emitting 213 Bi-DOTA PESIN was significantly more effective, tripling the survival rate of the mice that received the therapy. The results indicate that the alpha-emitting radiopeptide could provide a new approach for treating prostate cancer and eventually other types of cancer.

Source: Society of Nuclear Medicine (news : web)

Explore further: Facts About Prostate Cancer and Its Treatment

Related Stories

Facts About Prostate Cancer and Its Treatment

October 25, 2006

In 2006, about 235,000 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer among males. If caught early, prostate cancer is very treatable and usually curable.

Radiation seeds effectively cure prostate cancer in young men

October 29, 2007

Radiation seed implants (brachytherapy) are just as effective at curing prostate cancer in younger men (aged 60 and younger) as they are in older men, according to a study presented at a scientific session on October 31, ...

New treatment hope for prostate cancer

February 6, 2009

Scientists at Melbourne's Burnet Institute have developed a potential new treatment for patients with prostate cancer. An article, which described the invention, has recently been published in the prestigious international ...

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.