New treatment option breaks Leukemia's resistance to chemotherapy, radiation therapy

SAN DIEGO, Calif.--German researchers set out to outwit cancer tumor cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy or radiation therapy and ended up expanding therapeutic applications of radionuclides in fighting leukemia. This research was released at SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 37 in San Diego.

"We have found that labelling the antibody CD45 with the alpha-emitter Bi-213 breaks resistance to radiation therapy and chemotherapy in leukemia cells by overcoming DNA-repair, which plays an important role in resistance," said Claudia Friesen, group leader of the laboratory of molecular biology in the nuclear medicine department at the University Ulm in Germany. "We provided the molecular requirements for overcoming this resistance and for alpha particlesinduced cell killing," added the co-author of "Overcoming Chemoresistance and Radioresistance in Leukemia Cells Using Bi-213 Labeled Anti-CD45 Monoclonal Antibody." She noted, "Targeted alpha particle radioimmunotherapy increases the dose to leukemia cells by two orders of magnitude and causes cell kill of single-targeted leukemia cells--all while sparing non-target tissues from detrimental radiation effects." With the group's approach, "therapeutic efficiency is increased and non-specific toxicity to normal organs and tissues is considerably decreased," she explained.

Anyone can get leukemia, a cancer of blood-forming cells; it affects women, men and children of all ages. This cancer starts in the bone marrow but usually spreads quickly into the blood. Over time, it may spread to lymph nodes, the spleen, liver, the covering of the brain and spinal cord, spinal fluid and other organs. Nearly 35,000 individuals will be diagnosed with leukemia this year in the United States, and nearly 23,000 individuals die annually from the disease.

"New options are needed to improve therapeutic success in the treatment of cancer, especially since tumors' resistance to chemotherapy or radiation therapy is

Contact: Maryann Verrillo
Society of Nuclear Medicine

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