June 8, 2011

‘Smart Bombs’ Target Kidney Cancer

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- About 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney cancer every year, but a new form of radioimmuntherapy may decrease this number significantly.

Radioimmunotherapy zeroes in on antigens associated with kidney cancer cells. Patients with progressive kidney cancer receiving as much as three times the dosage show dramatic slowing of cancer growth and stabilization of their disease.

"This study is another step forward in developing a cancer therapy that has the potential to provide additional treatment options for patients with renal cell carcinoma," Wim Oyen, MD, professor and chairman of the department of nuclear medicine at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, was quoted as saying.

"In many cases we were able to stop the disease from progressing and hopefully prolong patient survival without compromising their quality of life with serious adverse effects."

Radioimmunotherapy is a treatment for cancer made up of medical radionuclides bound with antibodies that recognize physiological changes involved in the disease process. This specific therapy, called Lu-177-cG250, targets kidney tumors with the monoclonal antibody cG250, which recognizes carbonic anhydrase IX"”an antigen associated with renal cell carcinoma. Once inside the body the treatment targets cancerous tissues expressing this antigen, and the radionuclide kills those cells, sparing surrounding healthy tissues.

Researchers looked at 20 patients with progressive, metastasized renal cell carcinoma received a maximum of three doses of Lu-177-cG250 and were evaluated for toxicity and therapeutic efficacy in three-month increments. A majority of patients, 14 out of 20, were able to reach stabilization of their cancer 12 weeks after treatment. Tumor growth averages dropped from 28.5 percent increase in size before treatment to 4.1 percent during the three months after their first treatment cycle. This study shows that Lu-177-cG250 is highly effective for targeting tumor lesions and for reducing cancer proliferation in patients with progressive kidney cancer.

SOURCE: SNM's 58th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, June 4-8, 2011