‘Smart bomb’ drug delivery may boost effectiveness of prostate cancer imaging

April 22nd, 2009

WASHINGTON - Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have identified a novel way to combine imaging with chemotherapy in a single agent for the treatment of prostate cancer.

According to lead researcher Dr John P. Sedelaar, a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins University, conventional methods include multimodality MRI to examine the urological system for diagnosing prostate cancer.

However, this tool is mostly thought of as a prostate imaging method, rather than a prostate cancer imaging method.

“An increasing number of patients have minimal prostate cancer, and opt for either very focused treatment or the watchful waiting approach,” said Sedelaar.

“In this environment, the need for an accurate imaging tool is paramount,” he added.

The researchers have designed two imaging drugs: a PSMA and a PSA-activated pro-drug. These agents are therapeutic drugs that are modified by adding a tyrosine ring for imaging.

After administrating the drugs to laboratory mice, researchers noted a measureable reduction in prostate cancer cells.

“It’s like a smart bomb, to use a military analogy,” said Sedelaar.

“By retooling chemotherapy agents, we may be able to get more accurate treatment monitoring and follow-up,” he added.

The study showed that the imaging pro-drugs were cleaved and activated by PSMA or PSA, suggesting their viability as a prostate cancer imaging modality.

The study was presented at American Association for Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting 2009. (ANI)

Filed under Cancer, News


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