A contrast agent currently used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), called mangafodipir, may increase the cancer-killing ability of some chemotherapy drugs while protecting normal cells, according to a study in the February 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .
Many anticancer drugs work by increasing the levels of tumor cell hydrogen peroxide. Tumor cells are particularly sensitive to hydrogen peroxide and die as a result. However, certain enzymes in the body can work to protect cells from this kind of damage, rendering certain cancer drugs less effective. In addition, the drugs are toxic to normal cells. The drug mangafodipir, a contrast agent given to patients before they have an MRI, helps promote the production of hydrogen peroxide while at the same time, through different biologic mechanisms, protects healthy cells from the negative effects of oxidative damage.
Jérôme Alexandre, M.D., of the Groupe hospitalier Cochin-Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris, and colleagues exposed tumor cells and white blood cells from 10 cancer patients and white blood cells from six control subjects to three chemotherapy drugs--paclitaxel, oxaliplatin, and 5-fluorouracil--in the presence or absence of mangafodipir. They also studied the effects of mangafodipir on colon cancer cells in mice treated with paclitaxel.
Ariel Whitworth | EurekAlert!
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For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
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For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
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Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
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