June 8, 2011

New Colorectal Cancer Therapy

(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the Unites States, and the third leading cause of cancer death. It develops in the colon and rectum, usually as a result of polyps, which are abnormal growths of tissue that extend from mucous membranes in the lower gastrointestinal tract. The most common treatments for this cancer are surgery and chemotherapy. However, chemotherapy can have many life threatening side effects.

Now researchers from Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy (SNM) have discovered a cancer therapy that has the potential to kill colorectal tumors with less damage to healthy tissue. By using pretargeted radioimmunotherapy, researchers say it's a successful alternative with less harmful effects.

"Pretargeted radioimmunotherapy offers an attractive potential alternative because the delivery of therapeutic isotope is rapid and is separated from the long antibody delivery process, thereby reducing the harmful effects of radiation to the body, especially the bone marrow,"  Rafke Schoffelen, M.D., scientist of the study at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands, was quoted saying.

Pretargeted radioimmunotherapy breaks the cancer therapy into two phases. In the first phase, an antibody is infused that recognizes both an antigen from the tumor and the building blocks of proteins that serve as a vehicle for the radioisotope. When the antibody has cleared the rest of the patient's system, leaving only the tumor-bound antibody, the second phase injects a small protein. The drug binds with the already tumor-bound antibody and delivers the radiation dose.

Research showed successful targeting of tumors and minor healthy tissue damage. These results could lead to the use of pretargted radioimmunotherapy to eliminate any remaining cancer after surgery, or as a standard treatment to keep tumors from returning or spreading to other organs.

SOURCE: SNM's 58th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas. June 6, 2011