Navigation Links
Radioactive scorpion venom for fighting cancer

Health physicists are establishing safe procedures for a promising experimental brain-cancer therapy which uses a radioactive version of a protein found in scorpion venom. For many, this will conjure images of Spiderman's nemesis, the Scorpion. The purpose of this work is not science fiction, but rather to help to develop a promising new therapy for brain cancer. The venom of the yellow Israeli scorpion preferentially attaches to the cells of a type of essentially incurable brain cancers known as gliomas.

Responding to this urgent problem, scientists at the Transmolecular Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts created a radioactive version of this scorpion venom. Called TM-601, it contains an artificial version of the venom protein, attached to a radioactive substance called iodine-131 (I-131). When it enters the bloodstream, the compound attaches to the glioma cells, then the I-131 releases radiation that kills the cell.

This compound has enabled an experimental treatment for high-grade gliomas, found in 17,000 people in the US every year and usually causing death in the first year of diagnosis. Patients would simply be injected with the compound in an outpatientprocedure, without needing chemotherapy or traditional radiotherapy. The first, early human trials of the venom therapy showed promising signs for treating the tumor and prolonging survival rates for patients.

At the Health Physics Society meeting this week in Providence, Rhode Island, Alan M. Jackson of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit will report that he and his colleagues recently established safe procedures for the therapy, currently in the second sequence of phase-II human trials, which involve higher doses of radiation than the earliest trials.

"The health physicist has the duty to ensure to ensure that these therapies are conducted both legally and safely," Jackson says. "Obviously, a key objective is to bring these patients home and to ensure that their loved ones and the environment are properly protected."

In the trials, one group of patients received the therapy three times over three weeks, while the other group received the therapy 6 times over 6 weeks. Each group received the same dose of radioactive iodine per week, 40 millicuries (mCi). According to Jackson, this is not tremendously high compared to a thyroid cancer treatment, in which patients receive up to 200 mCi in a single treatment.

As Jackson discovered, the TM-601 that does not bind to cells in the body is rapidly excreted in the urine. "Other tissues will receive some dose," he says, "but the vast majority of the dose is delivered to the cancer cells." To prevent the radioactive compound from being absorbed by the thyroid, which has a voracious appetite for iodine, the patients were given large amounts of non-radioactive iodine prior to the therapy to block the thyroid uptake of I-131.

When the patient returns home several hours after the procedure, there are radiation doses to any family members at home due to the presence of radiation in the patient's body. Such radiation exposures to family members, Jackson found, are low and comparable to those from a family member receiving standard thyroid cancer therapy.

Jackson is encouraged by the safety of this procedure and its potential to help patients with brain gliomas. A recent study of the earlier phase II trials showed that patients receiving up to 40 mCi of weekly dose did not show evidence of any adverse reactions attributable to the radiation. The second-sequence phase II trial at Henry Ford involves 3 patients, with a total of 54 patients across the US currently in investigational trials for the therapy.


'"/>

Source:Health Physics Society


Related biology news :

1. Researchers find first evidence of venom system in extinct mammal
2. Evolution mystery: Spider venom and bacteria share same toxin
3. Taipan venom no snake oil
4. Stanford snake venom study shows that certain cells may eliminate poison
5. Tarantula venom and chili peppers target same pain sensor
6. Nonvenomous Asian snakes borrow defensive poison from toxic toads
7. Molecule that usually protects infection-fighting cells may cause plaque deposits inside arteries
8. Researchers find promising cancer-fighting power of synthetic cell-signaling molecule
9. Experiment station researchers to explore genome of disease-fighting fungus
10. Bacterial genome sheds light on synthesizing cancer-fighting compounds
11. Anthrax stops body from fighting back, study shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... to their offering. ... eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during ... Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis ... and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 25, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider ... from around the world, is announcing a new textbook scholarship, the second scholarship in ... graduate students, 17 years or older, pursuing a degree in one of the life ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Patient Monitoring and Diagnostic ... connectivity to reduce the amount of wiring in a healthcare facility and allow ... devices including infusion pumps, heart and hypertension monitoring, glucose monitoring, and other wearable ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... celebrates this month its 20th anniversary, marking the occasion with a strong presence ... the meeting’s Welcome Reception and further extends an invitation to all attendees to ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Kathy Goin is joining myClin ... years of expertise in establishing and leading clinical operations at Sponsors including Trevena, ... therapist, through a variety of leadership roles in Clinical Operations, to her current ...
Breaking Biology Technology: