A new target-seeking affibody molecule can be used to visualize cancer tumors and to treat them. This has been shown in a dissertation by Ann-Charlott Steffen to be publicly defended at Uppsala University on April 22.
The gamma camera image shows the distribution of radioactivity in a mouse given target-seeking affibody molecules marked with radioactivity. The uptake can be seen in the thyroid gland, the kidneys, and the tumor.
Every third Swede is estimated to receive a cancer diagnosis sometime in their lives, and nearly one Swede in four dies as a result of the disease. The need for improved detection and treatment of the disease is great.
Existing treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Surgery is most effective for large, well-defined tumors, but if the disease has spread, chemotherapy and/or radiation are needed. These forms of treatment affect all dividing cells, leading to toxic effects on healthy tissue. This toxicity limits the size of the dose that can be given, thereby also limiting the probability that the disease will be cured. By seeking out tumor cells and selectively delivering cytostatics or radiation to the cancer cells, the dose affecting healthy tissue can be reduced and the dose to the tumor can be increased. This improves the chances of curing the disease.
Linda Nohrstedt | alfa
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