A synergistic chemotherapy and radiotherapy drug delivery technology for treating prostate cancer tumors
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest manifestations of cancer in clinical oncology. Despite accounting for only 3.2% of all cancer cases, it is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality. National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) combined with chemotherapy as the first-line treatment for locally advanced tumors. For all its clinical benefits, EBRT possesses significant limitations in the clinical management of pancreatic cancer which contribute to a 5 -year survival rate of less than 11.5% for patients with loco-regionalized pancreatic tumors. Therefore, there remains a need for new compositions and treatment methods that can overcome the disadvantages of convention solid tumor treatment for patients suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Duke inventors have reported a radiotherapy drug delivery technology intended to improve the treatment of locally advanced pancreatic cancer. This is a synergistic treatment strategy that combines chemotherapeutics with a liquidly injectable biopolymer that delivers radiotherapies. The approach relies on the thermally responsive properties of an elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) to deliver continuous, β-emission therapy using radionuclides. ELPs are peptide polymers that exhibit lower critical solution temperature phase behavior, enabling them to form gel-like depots that increase the half-life of their cargo. This technology has been demonstrated in animal models.
This technology is amenable to treating a wide range of other cancers, including melanoma, prostate, breast, colorectal, cervical, and ovarian cancers.
- ELP can be conveniently synthesized in high yield as a monodisperse macromolecule by recombinant DNA synthesis methodologies
- Studies with 131-I-ELP and paclitaxel revealed higher accumulation in tumors
- Analysis showed no significant exposure or damage to healthy tissues