Highly promising results from clinical trials indicate that alpha-emitting radioisotopes can kill cancer cells. The Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum presented this innovative therapy during a recent workshop in Heidelberg. Alpha-immunotherapy should develop into an effective treatment over the next few years and provide new methods of healing for patients. How does the cancer-killing mechanism work? A cancer-cell selective vehicle, (e.g. a monocolonal antibody or a peptide) is connected to a powerful radioactive isotope. As it radioactively decays, the isotope emits particles that can either directly or indirectly kill any cancer cells it encounters. Said EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin: "More research is needed, but experts tell us that the results from pre-clinical and first clinical trials are promising. Search-and-destroy isotopes should be helpful in fighting a great number of cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma (haematological malignancies), microscopic, intraperitoneally growing cancers (e.g. ovarian, stomach), glioblastoma and post-operative treatment of glioma, melanomas, colon tumours, myeloma and palliative treatment of malignant ascites. Multi-disciplinary co-operations between Europe’s best teams are needed to advance this innovative approach. Cancer is a key priority in the EU’s next research programme, to be launched later this year."
One of the key targets of the European Commission’s Sixth Framework programme for Research and Development (2003-2006) is "Combating cancer". Altogether just over €1 billion is earmarked for combating major diseases, of which at least € 400 million should go to cancer research. The objective is to develop better strategies, from prevention to diagnosis and treatment, for fighting cancer. EU research will concentrate on translating the new knowledge being created by genomics and other fields of basic research into applications that improve clinical practice and public health.
As far as research on cancer-killing isotopes is concerned, currently only two organisations world-wide are able to produce such isotopes: the European Commission’s Institute for Transuranium Elements (a branch of the JRC) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratories in the US.
Fabio Fabbi | Europäische Kommission
Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur
MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
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25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy