New approach for treating recurrent prostate cancer on the horizon

Jun 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: Elucidating the origin of MDR tuberculosis strains

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New treatment hope for prostate cancer

Feb 06, 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 ...

Facts About Prostate Cancer and Its Treatment

Oct 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.

Recommended for you

Elucidating the origin of MDR tuberculosis strains

36 minutes ago

A study has focused on the evolutionary history of the mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis, and more specifically on the Beijing lineage associated with the spread of multidrug resistant forms of the disease ...

Mexico escalating the fight against breast cancer

1 hour ago

On Avenue San Fernando, a tree-lined street crowded with food stands, the new wing of Mexico's flagship cancer hospital gleams like a silver airplane. Barely a year old, the light-filled structure attached to the National ...

Core needle biopsy helpful with cervical lymphadenopathy

18 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Core needle biopsy (CNB) is a more sensitive tool than fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) for cervical lymphadenopathy evaluation, according to a study published in the February issue of ...

User comments : 0

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.