Technology to Treat Metastatic Malignant Pleural Effusion of an Intractably Rare Disease
- KAERI develops radioactive isotope-based targeted-therapeutic technology to treat cancer cells of malignant pleural effusion -
- Research article published in Scientific Reports, a sister journal of Nature
□ Many patients with malignant pleural effusion, metastasized from lung cancer, have severe difficulties owing to the absence of an appropriate therapeutic method. A Korean research group is drawing attention for developing a radioactive isotope-based technology for the diagnosis and treatment of this intractable disease.
□ Doctor Jae-cheong Lim and his research group at the Radiation Science Center of the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute conducted a joint study with Professor Jae-uk Jeong’s research team at Chungnam National University Hospital as well as Gangnam Severance Hospital and SG Medical. They announced on June 20 that they had developed a new technology for making a radioactive isotope-labeled compound that may be used for the targeting and treatment of cancer cells in malignant pleural effusion metastasized from lung cancer.
* A small volume of pleural effusion exists in the pleural cavity* even in a normal state, facilitating and maintaining lung expansion during respiratory movement. However, a malignant pleural effusion is generated when the liquid is stagnated in the pleural cavity owing to an abnormal change, particularly bacterial pneumonia, tuberculosis, and malignant tumors.
※ Pleural cavity: The space surrounded by the wall-side of pleura covering the thoracic wall, midriff, and mediastinum, and by the visceral pleura covering the lungs including the pulmonary lobe fissure.
* Various treatment methods are available for lung cancer, however the conventional treatments are rarely applied to malignant pleural effusion which metastasized from lung cancer because the molecular biological properties of cancer cells are changed. In addition, temporary removal of the malignant pleural effusion by a chest tube insertion and pleurodesis still leaves the cancer cells on the thoracic wall. Therefore, a treatment method for permanently removing the cancer cells in the malignant pleural effusion is urgently needed
□ Based on the fact that a specific protein (CD55 receptor) is highly expressed in the lung cancer cells of the metastasized malignant pleural effusion, in contrast to the cancer cells of lung cancer, the research group prepared a special antibody that can target CD55 and combined it with the antibody Lutetium-177, a radioactive isotope for diagnosis and treatment, to produce a new radioactive isotope-based drug delivery agent.
* The drug delivery agent was administered to the animal models that were mimicking the malignant pleural effusion metastasized from lung cancer, and the selective targeting of the cancer cells by the drug was verified by a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. In addition, the median-survival periods of the drug administered animal models were increased more than twofold.The drug delivery agent was administered to the animal models that were mimicking the malignant pleural effusion metastasized from lung cancer, and the selective targeting of the cancer cells by the drug was verified by a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. In addition, the median-survival periods of the drug administered animal models were increased more than twofold.
* The article on this study was published in the June 12th at the on-line edition of Scientific Reports, a sister journal of world's top academic journal, Nature.
□ This achievement was made possible by the convergence of technology, using a radioactive isotope produced from the research reactor HANARO, which is one of the nation’s large-scale research facilities, and biotechnology. The current technology is expected to make a significant contribution to the development of a diagnostic and therapeutic agent for intractable rare diseases such as lung cancer-metastasized malignant pleural effusion.
* Doctor Lim, Jae-cheong stated that "We will continuously provide advanced radiation technology-based therapeutic methods for intractable rare diseases, as they are rarely developed in the private sector.”
* Doctor Jeong, Jae-uk of the Division of Pulmonology at Chugnam National University Hospital also stated that "This research will contribute to the improvement of medical welfare, as the technology is applied to the development of new drugs for rare diseases, such as malignant pleural effusion, which are causing problems with the absence of appropriate therapeutic agents."
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