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First proof in patients of an improved 'magic bullet' for cancer detection and radio-therapy
Date:9/12/2011

LA JOLLA, CA - Oncologists have long sought a powerful "magic bullet" that can find tumors wherever they hide in the body so that they can be imaged and then destroyed. Until recently scientists accepted the notion that such an agent, an agonist, needed to enter and accumulate in the cancerous cells to act. An international research team has now shown in cancer patients that an investigational agent that sticks onto the surface of tumor cells without triggering internalization, an antagonist, may be safer and even more effective than agonists.

One of the Salk Institute's leading researchers, Dr. Jean Rivier, professor in The Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology and holder of the Frederik Paulsen Chair in Neurosciences and his Swiss collaborator, Dr. Jean Claude Reubi, University of Berne and Adjunct Professor at Salk, co-authored a pilot study, published in the September issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, of five patients and demonstrated that their "antagonist", 111In-DOTA-BASS, outperformed the "agonist" agent, OctreoScan, that is widely used in the clinic to image neuroendocrine tumors bearing somatostatin receptors.

"This is the first proof of principle in humans that labeled peptide antagonists can effectively image tumors. Additional research suggests that we could one day use a different radioactive metal to effectively kill the tumors," said Dr. Rivier.

Dr. Reubi, a molecular pathologist, and Dr. Rivier, a chemist, collaborated in the design and selection of natIn-DOTA-BASS for human testing, and Dr. Helmut R. Maecke, a radio chemist, loaded DOTA-BASS with its radioactive marker and tested the compound before use in human. Afterward, the "first in man" study with the radioactive loaded DOTA-BASS was performed at the University Hospital in Freiburgby Drs. Damian Wild, Melpomeni Fani, Martin Behe, Ingo Brink, Helmut R. Maecke, and Wolfgang A. Weber.

The genesis of this study goes back to 1
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Contact: Andy Hoang
Ahoang@salk.edu
619-861-5811
Salk Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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