prostate cancer discovery

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the patrick c. walsh prostate cancer research fund

Improving Control of Cancer in the Bones

One of the worst features of advanced prostate cancer is bone metastasis. A new agent called Radium-223 dichloride has shown success here; it is an alpha particle-emitting radionuclide that is incorporated in the bone material. It emits highly toxic alpha particles that kill cancer in the bone; however, it has a very short range. In fact, it only kills the cells directly next to it in the bone. In research supported by the Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund, nuclear medicine scientist Daniel Thorek, Ph.D., with co-investigator Ryan Riddle, hopes to find out exactly how Radium-223 works at sites of bone metastasis.

"In initial studies, we have developed small animal models of prostate cancer metastasis in the bone, and we are performing high-resolution imaging to evaluate the magnitude and microdistribution of the agent," says Thorek. The investigators are evaluating the effect of the Radium-223 on the bone and prostate cancer cells at the sites where the radionuclide is deposited. "This may provide insight into improving dosing, in order to achieve an optimal therapeutic effect on the prostate cancer cells, with minimal surrounding bone cell damage." They also plan to use high-resolution, noninvasive nuclear imaging to show how Radium-223 is distributed. "This may provide a means to personalize the application of this radionuclide in men with prostate cancer."

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