Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New tumor-targeting agent images, treats wide variety of cancers

Date:
June 11, 2014
Source:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
A new class of tumor-targeting agents can seek out and find dozens of solid tumors, even illuminating brain cancer stem cells that resist current treatments, researchers report. What's more, years of animal studies and early human clinical trials show that this tumor-targeting, alkylphosphocholine (APC) molecule can deliver two types of "payloads" directly to cancer cells: a radioactive or fluorescent imaging label, or a radioactive medicine that binds and kills cancer cells.

Jamey Weichert (from left), Lance Hall and John Kuo collaborated on the study.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) report that a new class of tumor-targeting agents can seek out and find dozens of solid tumors, even illuminating brain cancer stem cells that resist current treatments.

What's more, years of animal studies and early human clinical trials show that this tumor-targeting, alkylphosphocholine (APC) molecule can deliver two types of "payloads" directly to cancer cells: a radioactive or fluorescent imaging label, or a radioactive medicine that binds and kills cancer cells.

The results are reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, and featured in the journal's cover illustration and podcast.

The APC targeting platform is a synthetic molecule that exploits a weakness common to cancers as diverse as breast, lung, brain and melanoma. These cancer cells lack the enzymes to metabolize phospholipid ethers, a cell membrane component that is easily cleared by normal cells. When given in an intravenous solution, APC goes throughout the body -- even across the blood-brain barrier -- and sticks to the membrane of cancer cells.

The cancer cells take up the APC and the imaging or treatment medication riding on the molecular platform, and retain it for days to weeks, resulting in direct cancer cell imaging or treatment.

The APC analogs were able to tag 55 of 57 different cancers. This large study had multiple stages, including testing in cancer cell lines, in rodents and rodents infected with human and rodent cancers, and in human patients with different cancers such as breast, lung, colorectal and glioblastoma (brain cancer).

"I was a skeptic; it's almost too good to be true,'' says co-lead author Dr. John S. Kuo, associate professor of neurosurgery and director of the comprehensive brain tumor program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. "It is a very broad cancer-targeting agent in terms of the many different cancers that tested positive. The APC analogs even sometimes revealed other sites of cancer in patients that were small, asymptomatic and previously undetected by physicians."

Kuo specializes in the treatment of brain tumors, and also leads the UWCCC CNS Tumors group running many clinical trials for glioma, a brain cancer that is incurable because current treatments leave behind cancer stem cells that can seed and regrow the cancer. He says it was encouraging that the APC analogs also picked up cancer stem cells and will also likely target them for further treatment.

"It's also potentially superior to current imaging methods because the standard clinical MR or PET imaging may give false-positive results due to surgical scars, post-treatment effects, inflammation, or even infection, making it difficult to know if the cancer has truly returned,'' he says.

Kuo says the fluorescent intraoperative APC imaging might help make cancer surgeries more effective and safer; any cancer cells that cannot be safely removed can be targeted afterwards with radioactive APC therapy. In addition, APC imaging might avoid the "false positive" results of current imaging, so cancer patients can stay on effective therapies and likely avoid the risks and costs of "second look" surgeries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. P. Weichert, P. A. Clark, I. K. Kandela, A. M. Vaccaro, W. Clarke, M. A. Longino, A. N. Pinchuk, M. Farhoud, K. I. Swanson, J. M. Floberg, J. Grudzinski, B. Titz, A. M. Traynor, H.-E. Chen, L. T. Hall, C. J. Pazoles, P. J. Pickhardt, J. S. Kuo. Alkylphosphocholine Analogs for Broad-Spectrum Cancer Imaging and Therapy. Science Translational Medicine, 2014; 6 (240): 240ra75 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3007646

Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin-Madison. "New tumor-targeting agent images, treats wide variety of cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611143653.htm>.
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2014, June 11). New tumor-targeting agent images, treats wide variety of cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611143653.htm
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "New tumor-targeting agent images, treats wide variety of cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611143653.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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