Potential Ovarian Cancer Treatment Seeks Out Tumor Cells

Women suffering from metastatic ovarian cancer could eventually be treated with a radioactive compound capable of seeking out and destroying tumor cells, according to an initial study by the Sahlgrenska Academy. The purpose of this patient study, published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, was to study the substance's distribution throughout the body and the presence of side effects in nine women with ovarian cancer.

The new treatment has been developed over a number of years by the Sahlgrenska Academy and involves injecting the patient with a radioactive isotope bound to carrier molecules. This compound has the ability to bind to the structures on the surface of tumor cells where the isotope emits radiation at such a close range that only the tumor cells’ DNA is destroyed.

Professor of oncology at Sahlgrenska Academy, Ragnar Hultborn, claims, “We have previously seen that mice with ovarian cancer given this treatment are generally cured without serious side effects, so we hop that this will become an established and effective treatment for women with metastatic ovarian cancer.”

Most ovarian cancers are benign, especially in younger women. But only when a tumor grows to a significant size and begins to spread do symptoms such as a bloated abdomen and pain occur. This indicates that ovarian cancer is often detected too late for surgical treatment alone and additional chemotherapy is required. The survival rate for ovarian cancer patients undergoing treatment is still low, so new methods are needed.


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