Joint research project aims at the improvement of companion diagnostics and therapy of tumor diseases
An international team from four EU countries plans to use an innovative concept to improve the use of companion diagnostics in disease and develop new approaches to therapy in the long term. The idea is to combine the use of nanomedicines and short half-life radionuclides for imaging purposes in the living organism.
First the nanomedicines, in the form of synthetic nanoparticles or antibodies, are introduced in the body where they actively or passively accumulate in certain organisms or cells. The second stage involves the delivery of a radioactive substance.
Where the substance encounters the nanoparticles, a rapid chemical reaction occurs and the two bind together, while the remainder of the substance is eliminated from the body. With the help of an imaging technique, it is now possible to precisely pinpoint where the nanoparticles are located, to what extent they have accumulated at the target site, and what effect they are having on the disease pathology. The EU is funding the project to the tune of EUR 6 million over the next five years.
Participating are physicians and clinicians from Copenhagen, chemists at TU Wien, and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), together with commercial partners from Austria and the Netherlands. The project was launched with the clear ambition of transferring the technology into clinical practice.
The research consortium aims at improving companion diagnostics and, at the same time, reducing exposure of patients to radioactivity to an absolute minimum. Companion diagnostics are tools in the form of medical devices that are used to assess medications in advance and can help determine which patients are likely to benefit from a treatment. For example, it is already possible to treat HER2-positive breast cancer using antibody therapy with relatively high therapeutic success rates.
However, only about 20 percent of all breast tumors are HER2-positive and the treatment is very expensive. It is thus advisable to first establish whether a patient is HER2-positive before initiating the therapy. Companion diagnostics can thus be used to determine if an individual patient is suitable for a specific form of therapy and would benefit from it or whether an alternative form of treatment should be preferred. In addition, the outcome of the therapy can be subsequently visualized. It is thus possible that the project may also contribute towards the future development of medicines that are more effective, more rapid, and less expensive.
"The system we are proposing would allow us to do far more than simply determine exactly where the nanoparticles are in the body," explained polymer chemist Dr. Matthias Barz of the Institute of Organic Chemistry at Mainz University, who is involved in the project. "There is the imaging factor that will allow us to see where our nanoparticles with their specific function are located in the body. And, eventually, it should at some point be possible to use our approach in radiotherapy – making it truly unique."
The two cooperation partners in Mainz, Dr. Matthias Barz and Professor Rudolf Zentel, are contributing their expertise in the production of microparticles of nanoparticles with specific functions. The European Union is making EUR 300,000 available over the next three years to fund their project.
Dr. Matthias Barz
Institute of Organic Chemistry
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone: +49 6131 39-26256
fax: +49 6131 39-24778
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/19912_ENG_HTML.php - press release ;
http://www.ak-zentel.chemie.uni-mainz.de/eng/index.php - Zentel Group at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction