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Breast cancer treatment heats up

RESTON, Va.In the March Journal of Nuclear Medicine, researchers demonstrate that miniscule bioprobes could be produced and used with molecularly targeted therapeutic heat to kill malignant breast cancer cellswithout damaging nearby healthy tissue.

While many researchers have studied using heat in treating cancer, "the inability to deposit effective doses of heat in a tumor without applying similar heat to nearby normal tissue has prevented widespread clinical use," said Sally J. DeNardo, professor of internal medicine and radiology with the School of Medicine at the University of California Davis in Sacramento. "Our animal study, which combined the future-oriented sciences of nanotechnology and molecular imaging, shows that a method for delivering thermal ablationremoving or destroying cancer cells by using heatis feasible," added the co-director of the university's radiodiagnosis and therapy section. "This exciting studycombining radiolabeled antibodies with nanoparticles or bioprobesprovides a new approach to direct thermal ablation specifically to tumor cells," she noted. DeNardo stressed that this heat treatment is in the preclinical, developmental stage, having been used only in lab mice; additional tests will need to be performed with cancer patients.

Such studies are important, explained DeNardo, indicating that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women (besides skin cancer). Statistics show that a woman has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer during her life. This year, about 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and nearly 40,000 will die from the disease.

Scientists from UC Davis and Triton BioSystems in Boston, Mass., injected trillions of magnetic iron-containing bioprobes into the bloodstream of a lab mouse bearing a human cancer tumor. The magnetic iron nanoprobesmore than 10,000 of which can fit on the end of a straight pinare concealed in polymers and sug
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
6-Mar-2007


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