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Nontoxic radioactive Listeriaat


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An article on this caught my eye in the Economist. It sounds some way down the road but it does seem promising.


"The reason pancreatic cancer is so deadly is that it metastasises quickly. This spreading of secondary tumours around the body damages other organs and has proved impossible to stop. But a group of researchers led by Claudia Gravekamp of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York, have an intriguing idea for changing that. As they describe in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they plan to do it by infecting people with radioactive bacteria."


Nontoxic radioactive Listeriaat is a highly effective therapy against metastatic pancreatic cancer.


Abstract


No significant improvement in therapy of pancreatic cancer has been reported over the last 25 y, underscoring the urgent need for new alternative therapies. Here, we coupled a radioisotope, 188Rhenium, to an attenuated (at) live Listeria monocytogenes (Listeriaat) using Listeria-binding antibodies, thus creating a unique radioactive Listeriaat (RL). We then demonstrated in a highly metastatic pancreatic mouse tumor model (Panc-02) that RL delivered radioactivity to the metastases and less abundantly to primary tumors in vivo, without harming normal cells. This result was possible because Listeriaat was efficiently cleared by the immune system in normal tissues but not in the heavily immune-suppressed microenvironment of metastases and primary tumor. Multiple treatments with low doses of the RL resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of metastases (∼90%) compared with control groups in the Panc-02 model. This is the first report of using live attenuated bacteria delivering a highly radioactive payload to the metastases, resulting in killing tumor cells in vivo without harming normal cells. The nontoxic RL treatment is attractive for clinical development as a therapy to prevent pancreatic cancer recurrence and metastases


http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/04/17/1211287110.abstract?sid=23fb8cd7-a88a-46a4-97b6-16faaf078a12

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