Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists may be able to double efficacy of radiation therapy

Date:
December 17, 2011
Source:
Georgia Health Sciences University
Summary:
Scientists may have a way to double the efficacy and reduce the side effects of radiation therapy.

Scientists may have a way to double the efficacy and reduce the side effects of radiation therapy.

Related Articles


Georgia Health Sciences University scientists have devised a way to reduce lung cancer cells' ability to repair the lethal double-strand DNA breaks caused by radiation therapy.

"Radiation is a great therapy -- the problem is the side effects," said Dr. William S. Dynan, biochemist and Associate Director of Research and Chief, Nanomedicine and Gene Regulation at the GHSU Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics. "We think this is a way to get the same amount of cancer cell death with less radiation or use the same amount and maybe cure a patient that could not be cured before."

Radiation therapy capitalizes on radiation's ability to kill cells by causing double-strand breaks in DNA. But the fact that varying levels of radiation are essentially everywhere -- food, air, the ground, etc. -- means all cells, including cancer cells, have internal mechanisms to prevent the lethal breakage.

GHSU scientists are targeting the natural defense mechanisms by packaging a piece of an antibody against one of them with folate, which has easy access to most cells, particularly cancer cells. Many cancers, including the lung cancer cells they studied, have large numbers of folate receptors so that cancer cells get a disproportionate share of the package.

Previous efforts to destroy cancer cells' ability to avoid radiation damage have focused on receptors on their surface, said Dr. Shuyi Li, molecular biologist, pediatrician and corresponding author on the study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology.

To get a more direct hit, the scientists took advantage of folate receptors as a point of entry by chemically binding folate with the small piece of their antibody, ScFv 18-2. The package heads straight for the cell nucleus where a different chemical environment breaks the bond, freeing ScFv 18-2 to attack the regulatory region of DNA-dependent protein kinase, an enzyme essential to DNA repair.

"We are joining a targeting molecule with a cargo," said Dynan. "This strategy targets one of the key enzymes so it's harder to repair," Li said. This makes cancer cells more vulnerable to radiation.

Dynan and Li say the approach could be used to deliver any number of drugs directly inside cancer cells. Future studies include looking at other cell entry points as well as other targets to ensure they have the most effective package. Studies to date have been in human lung cancer cells in culture, so next steps also need to include animal studies.

Their approach mimics a natural process called endocytosis in which cells engulf proteins and other substances they want to let inside but can't fit through normal doorways.

Folate receptors already are being used as direct entry points for chemotherapeutic drugs, including clinical studies of a new strategy for ovarian cancer. GHSU is participating in clinical trials of a therapy that pairs an agent too toxic to be delivered through the bloodstream with folate to better target one of the most deadly cancers.

Dynan is the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Molecular Biology. Dynan and Li are both faculty members in GHSU's Medical College of Georgia. Dynan also is a faculty member in the College of Graduate Studies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Health Sciences University. The original article was written by Toni Baker. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia Health Sciences University. "Scientists may be able to double efficacy of radiation therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111216174446.htm>.
Georgia Health Sciences University. (2011, December 17). Scientists may be able to double efficacy of radiation therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111216174446.htm
Georgia Health Sciences University. "Scientists may be able to double efficacy of radiation therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111216174446.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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