Radioactive nanoparticles target, shrink metastasized lymphoma tumors

Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed radioactive nanoparticles with the ability to target lymphoma tumor cells and shrink tumors after they have metastasized.

At the university's College of Veterinary Medicine, the researchers have already proven the effectiveness of these targeting agents comprising the radioactive element lutetium, gold shells and specified targeting agents in mice and dogs with rampant forms of cancer. The targeting agents deliver the lutetium nanoparticles to lymphoma tumor cells without harming healthy cells on the way, according to a university report.

While previous research at MU showed the ability of the nanoparticles to deliver single radioactive atoms to tumors, the current version comes with more of a punch, carrying multiple atoms at a time.

"The ability to deliver radioactive atoms to individual cancer cells should greatly increase our ability to selectively kill these cells," said J. David Robertson, a lead researcher. "We are very optimistic about the synergy of combining the targeting strategy developed in [co-lead-author Michael Lewis'] lab with our work on new radioactive nanoparticles."

The researchers hope to complete further animal studies within the next few years and begin human clinical trials.

- here's the MU report