The Maneater

MU researchers issued patent for cancer treatment

The method could help treat prostate, pancreatic, breast and small-cell cancers.

A team of MU professors received a U.S. patent Oct. 8, 2015, for a nuclear complex delivery method designed to actively seek out and treat cancer cells. The delivery method, titled “Radioisotope Trithiol Complexes” could help battle prostate, pancreatic, breast and small-cell cancers, according to an MU News Bureau release issued Monday.

The research team used three components to build the delivery system. Arsenic 72, an imaging and diagnostic isotope, or Arsenic 77, a radiotherapeutic isotope, were bound to trithiol, a stable radioisotope to create the complex which can also be combined with other medicine. When injected, the complex searches for cancer cells and binds with them, delivering the necessary medicine.

“Trithiol is shaped a bit like a claw where the ‘fingers’ bind with arsenic and the peptides or antibodies linked to the trithiol carry it to the cancer cell,” said Silvia Jurisson, a researcher on the team and a professor of chemistry and radiology at the College of Arts and Science, in the release.

One of the next steps is testing this method on mice in an “in vivo” study. If the early stages of study are successful, then working with MU physicians would be warranted.

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