Chemotherapy is one of the most effective methods of fighting cancer, despite the many side effects. Scientists of the national research center "Kurchatov Institute" have developed a technology that can significantly increase the effectiveness of drug treatment of malignant tumors.
Lutetium-177 is a promising radionuclide used in cancer therapy. But with the traditional method of obtaining this element by irradiation of the stable isotope lutetium-176, the specific activity of the drug decreases. A new electrochemical method, based on the irradiation of ytterbium-176 in a neutron reactor and further isolation of lutetium-177, allowed researchers to start developing a more effective drug.
According to the press service of the research center "Kurchatov Institute", when testing the drug based on lutetium-177 on rodents, a stable suppression of tumor growth was observed, while healthy organs of animals did not suffer.
"In case of successful completion of the work, the first in Russia radioimmune drug with lutetium-177 will be obtained for the treatment of breast cancer, liver, prostate, skin, and other diseases," Deputy head of the Kurchatov complex of physical and chemical technologies Dmitry Chuvilin told reporters.
According to the publication "TASS", lutetium-177 in the future can be used to mark the Bioorganic molecules — this technique allows them to be used for imaging and treatment of malignant tumors.