Photoimmunotherapy (PIT) that uses a near-infrared (NIR) dye conjugated to monoclonal antibodies (mABs) that target epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) is a new type of molecular-targeted cancer therapy that appears to offer considerable promise.
Research by Makoto Mitusnaga and colleagues from the Molecular Imaging Program at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was published recently in Nature Medicine. This paper is well worth reading if you have an interest in this area.
The NCI researchers developed a:
“mAb-based photosensitizer that is activated by NIR light for targeted PIT only when bound to the target molecule on the cancer cellular membrane.”
I think this is exciting research because unlike conventional photodynamic therapy that also damages normal tissue, photoimmunotherapy kills only antibody-bound cancer cells with no normal tissue damage:
“Further, because this agent also emits a diagnostic fluorescence, it can be used to direct the application of light to minimize exposure to nonrelevant tissues and to noninvasively monitor any therapeutic effects of excitation light.”
You can read more in the Nature Medicine paper about this exciting research that may offer an innovative new drug delivery mechanism for targeted cancer therapies.
Mitsunaga, M., Ogawa, M., Kosaka, N., Rosenblum, L., Choyke, P., & Kobayashi, H. (2011). Cancer cell–selective in vivo near infrared photoimmunotherapy targeting specific membrane molecules Nature Medicine DOI: 10.1038/nm.2554
It’s a busy day of science at the 102nd American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in Orlando, You can follow what’s happening on twitter, #AACR. Pharma Strategy Blog has an excellent “Cover it Live” widget that shows everyone’s #AACR tweets. It allows you to go back in time, so you can see what happened earlier. AACR also has some excellent webcasts and podcasts from the meeting.
However, what caught my attention this morning was the launch of a new journal, Cancer Discovery; preview copies were handed out to attendees at the plenary session this morning.
In a world where we are already overwhelmed by data, publications and sources of information, why is this journal both important and worth reading?
Firstly, this team has a distinguished group of editors, Lewis Cantley, PhD and José Baselga MD PhD are Editors-in-Chief. However, what attracted me was the way this journal, in a highly readable way, covers a wide range of topics from news, updates on current research to mini reviews and research articles.
In the news section, the journal picked up on nanodiamonds for drug delivery (a topic previously mentioned on this blog), and discussed the Gilead acquisition of Calistoga from perspective of bringing PI3K delta inhibitors to market.
I liked the selected highlights of recent articles of exceptional significance from the cancer literature. The mini review on the “stumbling blocks on the path to personalized medicine in Breast Cancer” summarized the challenges in the clinical development of PARP inhibitors. The research articles reminded me of those I’ve read in other journals such as Science, with high quality figures and tables.
If AACR and the editors can keep up the high standard of the April 2011 preview copy they have published, Cancer Discovery will definitely be on the reading list of those involved with cancer research, new product development and translational medicine.
You can find out more about Cancer Discovery and read online articles on the AACR website.