Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New treatment for skeletal metastases

01.07.2002


Norwegian and Swedish researchers have developed a new type of internal radiation therapy for cancer that has spread to skeletal tissue. Experience from an early patient test is optimistic, according to a report being presented at the 18th International Cancer Congress in Oslo this week.



Many patients with advanced breast, prostate or lung cancer experience metastasis to skeletal tissue. This is often a source of pain and suffering.

Exterior irradiation and medication, including radioactive substances injected into the bloodstream, can retard cancer growth in skeletal tissue, but now a new radium isotope may offer a new and better alternative. The first tests on Norwegian and Swedish patients are currently in progress, and the experience thus far gives grounds for optimism.


Isotopes are incorporated into skeletal tissue
Special cells called osteoclasts help build up skeletal tissue and try to help repair damaged tissue in areas affected by cancer. When small doses of the element radium are injected into the bloodstream, the osteoclasts will incorporate radium instead of calcium. This means radium can be incorporated into skeletal tissue, where it will give off radiation that kills cancer cells.

"Today, this type of ’internal’ radiation therapy is usually based on pharmaceuticals that contain strontium. Strontium has a scope of six to seven millimetres, meaning it can damage bone marrow and impair the production of new blood cells. But radium223 has a scope of just two millimetres. This leads us to believe that bone marrow will incur less damage", states Senior Medical Officer Lise Balteskard, PhD, University Hospital of Northern Norway. Along with physicians at the Norwegian Cancer Hospital, she has treated the first Norwegian patients with radium223.

The element radium is found in many isotope variants with different half-lives and scopes. The new isotope is a radium223 isotope developed at the Studsvik reactor in Sweden. In addition to the short scope of the radiation, it has a half-life of only 11 days.

Pain relief

In animal trials, this new isotope had good results on breast cancer that had spread to skeletal tissue. The animals lived longer and some were cured. (Cancer Research, June 2002). Experience from the first study on 20 Norwegian and Swedish patients indicates that many were able to use a lower dose of painkillers. This indicates that the treatment is effective.

"This is a phase 1 study where we are testing different doses to determine which dose we can administer without too many side effects. First and foremost, we are examining blood platelets and white cells in the blood to see whether their production is affected. The patients have advanced cancer. It was promising that many of them could take a lower dose of painkillers, as it implies improved quality of life. However, a phase 2 study is required to perform imaging, determine whether there is any reduction in malignant tissue, and systematically examine pain relief and survival", explains Balteskard.

"Is it possible that this new radium isotope might offer a cure for skeletal metastasis?"

"We believe this treatment might be administered the first time a tumour spreads to skeletal tissue, and that it might inhibit metastases. This would have an effect on pain and quality of life and could increase survival. It is still too early to tell whether such treatment might offer a cure if administered early enough", adds Balteskard.

Abstract P 459 in Poster Session 1 refers to the Norwegian-Swedish study on radium 223.
For more information, see the abstract from the symposium: Skeletal metastases, Monday, 08.45, inter alia in 15, Serafini, which will give an overview of bone-seeking radioactive isotopes for use in cancer treatment

Hanna Hånes | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.kreft.no/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>