Metabolic Imaging of Patients with Prostate Cancer Using Hyperpolarized [1-13C]Pyruvate

“This first-in-man imaging study evaluated the safety and feasibility of hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate as an agent for noninvasively characterizing alterations in tumor metabolism for patients with prostate cancer. Imaging living systems with hyperpolarized agents can result in more than 10,000-fold enhancement in signal relative to conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. When combined with the rapid acquisition of in vivo 13C MR data, it is possible to evaluate the distribution of agents such as [1-13C]pyruvate and its metabolic products lactate, alanine, and bicarbonate in a matter of seconds. Preclinical studies in cancer models have detected elevated levels of hyperpolarized [1-13C]lactate in tumor, with the ratio of [1-13C]lactate/[1-13C]pyruvate being increased in high-grade tumors and decreased after successful treatment. Translation of this technology into humans was achieved by modifying the instrument that generates the hyperpolarized agent, constructing specialized radio frequency coils to detect 13C nuclei, and developing new pulse sequences to efficiently capture the signal.”


Breast Cancer Drugs May Also Be Effective Against Some Lung Cancers

A class of drugs already in clinical trials for breast and ovarian cancer, so-called PARP inhibitors, may also be effective against some forms of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Around half of all NSCLC tumors have low levels of ERCC1, a protein that helps repair damaged DNA. PARP inhibitors act by blocking a different DNA repair mechanism. This creates a one-two punch that kills the NSCLC tumor cells that are low in ERCC1, while healthy cells remain relatively unharmed. A recent cell culture study showed that PARP inhibitors like olaparib, niraparib, and BMN 673 killed ERCC1-deficient NSCLC cells, but not cells with normal ERCC1 levels.


Indirect Approach May Finally Make Inhibition of Cancer Gene KRAS Possible

The KRAS gene is mutated in one-third of tumors and its importance in promoting the growth of cancer cells has been known for decades. However, efforts to develop a KRAS inhibitor have so far been unsuccessful. Now, researchers may have found a way to suppress KRAS indirectly using a drug called deltarasin. To function properly, KRAS needs to be attached to the cell’s membrane, a process aided by the transport protein PDE-δ. Deltarasin blocks PDE-δ, preventing KRAS from anchoring to the cell membrane. A recent study showed that deltarasin reduced the growth of KRAS-mutant tumor cells both in cell culture and in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer.


Development and Preclinical Characterization of a Humanized Antibody Targeting CXCL12

“Purpose: Our goal was to develop a potent humanized antibody against mouse/human CXCL12. This report summarized its in vitro and in vivo activities. Experimental Design: Cell surface binding and cell migration assays were used to select neutralizing hamster antibodies, followed by testing in several animal models. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) 30D8 was selected for humanization based on its in vitro andin vivo activities.”


Development and Preclinical Characterization of a Humanized Antibody Targeting CXCL12

“Purpose: Our goal was to develop a potent humanized antibody against mouse/human CXCL12. This report summarized its in vitro and in vivo activities. Experimental Design: Cell surface binding and cell migration assays were used to select neutralizing hamster antibodies, followed by testing in several animal models. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) 30D8 was selected for humanization based on its in vitro andin vivo activities.”


Development and Preclinical Characterization of a Humanized Antibody Targeting CXCL12

“Purpose: Our goal was to develop a potent humanized antibody against mouse/human CXCL12. This report summarized its in vitro and in vivo activities. Experimental Design: Cell surface binding and cell migration assays were used to select neutralizing hamster antibodies, followed by testing in several animal models. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) 30D8 was selected for humanization based on its in vitro andin vivo activities.”


Diabetes Plus Anticancer Drug Combination Targets Melanoma Cells Unresponsive to Standard Treatments


Researchers at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recently developed a combination approach to target melanoma tumor cells that are particularly resistant to both chemotherapy and targeted therapies, such as vemurafenib. A combination of anti-melanoma drugs with an anti-diabetes drug was better able to target all of the cells in a tumor than the anti-melanoma drugs alone. The combination therapy even proved effective against cells that are usually resistant to therapy and are thought to be responsible for at least some of the resistance patients develop to melanoma treatment. Continue reading…


Inhalable Chemotherapy May Offer Superior Lung Cancer Treatment

A new drug delivery system attaches chemotherapy drugs to nanocarriers–microscopically tiny particles–to create an inhalable lung cancer treatment. Because this approach delivers drugs directly into the lung, it minimizes their effects on the rest of the body, potentially reducing side effects. The drugs also reach the lungs in their most potent form, without being degraded after injection into the bloodstream during transport to the lung. In addition to chemotherapy, the nanocarriers can also deliver another type of small particle, called siRNA, designed to combat drug resistance. In a recent study, this inhalable combination treatment drastically shrank lung cancer tumors implanted in mice, and resulted in 83% of the drug being delivered to the lung, compared to 23% when the drug was injected. However, further testing is necessary before this treatment can be investigated in human clinical trials.


Timing of Radiotherapy Could Reduce Hair Loss

A new study suggests that mouse hair operates on a schedule–it grows quickly during the day and slows down at night to repair DNA damage. If human hair behaves similarly, the discovery could help cancer patients avoid an unpleasant side effect of chemotherapy: hair loss. The study found that mice lost 85% of their hair after morning radiation sessions, but just 17% following nighttime sessions; hair cells repaired the inflicted damage overnight. Cancer cells, however, replicate at the same speed regardless of time, so the time of treatment won’t alter its effectiveness. The researchers believe investigating circadian clocks in humans could lead to treatment programs that minimize collateral damage such as hair loss.