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A New Approach to Radiation Therapy

On March 6th, 2000, the results of a whole new approach to Radiation therapy were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. NeoRx is the corporation developing this procedure. Their Phase I findings showed that a single dose of its proprietary Pretarget® technology cured established human lung and colon cancer in all their animal studies (10 out of 10 for both lung and colon cancer) and in 8 out of 10 for breast cancers implanted in mice. In animal studies, to be judged a cure, there has to be complete absence of the tumors with no regrowth for at least one year.

These results were achieved with a single dose of radiation using their Pretarget® technology.

Here is how the procedure works: Unlike conventional approaches that attach anti-cancer agents directly to antibodies, Pretarget® technology first injects an antibody linked to a receptor, such as streptavidin, allowing it to accumulate at target sites. Next, a clearing agent is injected to remove circulating antibody/streptavidin from the blood. Then, the anti-cancer agent is administered, linked to a molecule such as biotin. This biotin molecule binds to prelocalized antibody/streptavidin or is cleared rapidly from the body, which allows high radiation doses to be delivered to the tumor while minimizing toxicity to normal organs, such as bone marrow.

In even easier terms, high doses of radiation can be administered because the radiation goes right to the cancer site, and what doesn't make it there, is said to be sloughed from the body.

Though I would like to believe that any errant radiation is sloughed from the body, I would like to see an independent review of this. It does seem that pretargeting the cancer would avoid most collateral damage, but having that much radiation in one's body isn't a pleasant thought, and any naturopath will highly recommend detoxing the body of any radiation after the therapy is concluded and results have been deemed successful.

For more information on NeoRx or information on future Phase II/III studies, contact: NeoRx Corporation -- Controller Melinda Kile, 206.286.2508. 

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