Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experimental radioprotective drug safe for lung cancer patients, says study

Date:
June 20, 2011
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer can safely take an experimental oral drug intended to protect healthy tissue from the effects of radiation, according to a new study.

Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer can safely take an experimental oral drug intended to protect healthy tissue from the effects of radiation, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and published in this month's issue of Human Gene Therapy.

The findings support further clinical testing of the agent, called manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) plasmid liposome, to determine if giving it alongside chemotherapy and radiation will prevent damage to normal cells that is the typical cause of side effects in cancer treatment, said senior investigator Joel S. Greenberger, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Pitt School of Medicine, and co-director of the lung and esophageal cancer program at UPCI.

"If we can sufficiently protect tissues that are normal, we should be able to deliver our cancer treatments more effectively and perhaps even at higher doses," he explained. "Our aim is to improve the quality of life of patients by minimizing side effects while providing the best treatment for their cancers."

For the safety study, 10 patients with inoperable stage III non-small cell lung cancer took oral doses of MnSOD plasmid liposome twice weekly for a total of 14 doses during seven weeks of conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The agent, which boosts levels of an antioxidant the body makes naturally, is made of fat droplets containing the gene that produces MnSOD. When swallowed, it is absorbed by cells in the esophagus, which is a common site for severe side effects during radiation treatment for lung cancer.

One patient experienced mild heartburn and a slight rash and another had mild constipation and a fluctuation in blood sodium, problems that might be associated with MnSOD treatment. No other toxicities were thought to be due to the experimental drug.

"The results of this initial trial indicate that MnSOD plasmid liposome can be safely administered," Dr. Greenberger said. "It did not linger in normal cells after treatment, nor did it protect cancer cells from radiation treatment. The next study, which is underway at UPCI, is to determine whether it protects normal tissue, particularly the esophagus, from radiation exposure."

A common toxicity of lung cancer radiation therapy is esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus, he explained. Within a few weeks of treatment, patients typically experience painful swallowing that over time can become so severe that narcotics or a break from radiotherapy may be necessary for patient comfort.

Preclinical testing has shown that generating higher levels of MnSOD in healthy cells can suppress the production of inflammatory molecules and reduce cell death, micro-ulceration and esophagitis. Because the agent is delivered to healthy tissue, it does not protect tumor cells from radiation treatment. In fact, Dr. Greenberger noted, experiments hint that when it is given to cancer cells, it actually encourages cell death because of abnormalities in their cellular metabolism.

He and his team plan to investigate the use of MnSOD plasmid liposome for other cancers, such as protecting the rectum from radiotherapy for prostate cancer and protecting the bladder during ovarian or endometrial cancer treatment.

The research team includes co-lead author Ahmad A. Tarhini, M.D., James D. Luketich, M.D., and others from UPCI; co-lead author Chandra P. Belani, M.D., of Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute; and others from Emory University, University of Washington School of Medicine, and PharmaReg Consultants, of San Leandro, Calif.

The study was funded by the UPCI Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in lung cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ahmad A. Tarhini, Chandra P. Belani, James D. Luketich, Athanassios Argiris, Suresh S. Ramalingam, William Gooding, Arjun Pennathur, Daniel Petro, Kevin Kane, Denny Liggitt, Tony ChampionSmith, Xichen Zhang, Michael W. Epperly, Joel S. Greenberger. A Phase I Study of Concurrent Chemotherapy (Paclitaxel and Carboplatin) and Thoracic Radiotherapy with Swallowed Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Plasmid Liposome Protection in Patients with Locally Advanced Stage III Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Human Gene Therapy, 2011; 22 (3): 336 DOI: 10.1089/hum.2010.078

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Experimental radioprotective drug safe for lung cancer patients, says study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322114838.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2011, June 20). Experimental radioprotective drug safe for lung cancer patients, says study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322114838.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Experimental radioprotective drug safe for lung cancer patients, says study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322114838.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins