Researchers at the University of Cincinnati are set to test targeted treatment for prostate cancer.
The partnership with Areva Med will see UC scientists using the lab of Zhongyun Dong, PhD, to test the efficacy of a new agent targeted against a specific protein on the surface of the tumour.
Dong, an associate professor of hematology oncology in the department of internal medicine, said: "It's been shown that human prostate cancer cells overexpress some proteins on their surface.
"This overexpression presents a novel target for management of advanced prostate cancer."
According to Dong, previous radiation therapy targeting these proteins has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in several animal models.
UC's study will be the first to explore this approach for prostate tumours.
In the work, researchers will bind the isotope 212-lead to an antibody targeting one of these proteins.
Dong said: "When administered intravenously, the AREVA Med 2120lead-antibody is designed to bind to the tumor's surface, emit alpha particles in and selectively destroy the tumor cells."
In the study, expected to run through the end of the year, researchers will measure the toxicity of the treatment and its efficacy in inhibiting cancer cell growth.
Data will then be gathered to support phase-1 clinical trials in patients with advanced prostate cancer.
Hematology oncology professor Olivier Rixe said: "Targeting a monoclonal antibody against this protein is not new.
"What's new is that we will load the antibody with an isotope that can directly target the protein on the cancer cell and deliver very localized radiation to this specific target of the cancer."
"It's a very interesting concept for drug delivery and a novel strategy for cancer treatment," Rixe added.