Scientists Report Advances in Light-source Medicine to Help Fight Metastatic Cancer

Scientists Report Advances in Light-source Medicine to Help Fight Metastatic Cancer
The localized activation of an anti-cancer medicine in tumor cells, through an innovative internal light source, significantly reduced metastatic tumor growth, according to a new study using mice. This response was observed in both aggressive metastatic breast cancer and multiple myeloma, a type of cancer of white blood cells. The study, “Radionuclides transform chemotherapeutics into phototherapeutics for precise treatment of disseminated cancer,” was published in the journal Nature Communications. Phototherapy has been shown to be a precise and safe strategy against cancer. It involves the activation of a light-sensitive molecule or drug through exposure to certain types of light. However, its effectiveness is limited to cancer in the skin or in areas accessible by an endoscope due to the low penetration power of light in tissues. Cherenkov radiation, a specific light emitted by radioactive molecules, has been used in traditional cancer-imaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography (PET), to locate metastatic tumors. Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is a radiolabeled sugar molecule commonly used in PET scans, due to the production of Cherenkov radiation. Many tumors take up high amounts of FDG to support their rapid growth, making them light up on a PET scan, no matter where they are in the body. Previous work from a team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that Cherenkov light (through FDG) could be used as an
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