"Our research team has long hoped to be able to target radiotherapy in this way," says oncologist Håkan Andersson from Sahlgrenska University Hospital, who is leading the research alongside professor Ragnar Hultborn from the Sahlgrenska Academy and radiation physicist Lars Jacobsson.
"There is a good chance of this treatment working, as the study indicates that a sufficient amount of the active substance reaches the tumour cells in the abdominal cavity without any measurable side-effects."
The aim of this initial patient study, just published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, was to study the substance's distribution in the body and any side-effects in nine women with ovarian cancer.
"We have previously seen that mice with ovarian cancer given this treatment are generally cured without serious side-effects, so we hope that this will become an established and effective treatment for women with metastatic ovarian cancer," says Ragnar Hultborn, professor of oncology at the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy. "But it will still be several years of development."
The research is being funded partly by the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Cancer Society.
"In our next study, 80 women with ovarian cancer will receive this treatment as a supplement to their ordinary treatment so that we can scientifically test whether the effect is as good in real patients as the animal studies indicate," Håkan Andersson says.OVARIAN CANCER
Partners in clinical research The Sahlgrenska Academy is the University of Gothenburg's health sciences faculty, while Sahlgrenska University Hospital is one of northern Europe's largest hospitals. The two institutions have almost 300 different joint research projects under way. Their strongest research fields include obesity with cardiovascular research and diabetes, biomaterials, pharmacology, neuroscience, paediatrics, epidemiology, rheumatology and microbiology.
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