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
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences