In patients with severe prostate cancer, there is hope for salvation. Russian scientists have developed a new therapeutic radiopharmaceutical “225Ac-PSMA” based on actinium. It has already been administered to the first three patients, the press service of the National Medical Research Center for Radiology of the Russian Ministry of Health reported on March 2.
We are talking about the treatment of so-called castration-resistant prostate cancer. This is a condition in which malignant cells become resistant to standard treatments. Since 2021, another lutetium-based radiopharmaceutical “177Lu-PSMA” has been used in our country to combat this type of prostate tumors. Significant advances have been made in treatment. But some patients were insensitive to this method. Scientists continued to search for new means and approaches.
– We know that actinium is a more powerful agent than lutetium. Studies have already been carried out in the world that have shown that some patients who are not sensitive to lutetium can be helped only with the help of actinium, – said Valery Krylov, head of the department of radiosurgical treatment with open radionuclides of the MRRC named after AF Tsyba – branch of the National Medical Research Center for Radiology. It was here that a new drug was developed and used for the first time in Russia.
The introduction of “225Ac-PSMA” to patients was a success. “We have two phases of clinical trials ahead, but of course, for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer, this is a great hope for life extension,” the doctor said.
– Nuclear medicine is a very promising area. Competently combining their technologies with surgical treatment, we get the most severe enemy of the tumor cell, – says Andrey Kaprin, General Director of the National Research Medical Center for Radiology, Chief Oncologist of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
At the end of 2022, AF Tsyba received a license for Russia’s first nuclear pharmacy. This makes it possible to synthesize radiopharmaceuticals directly at the Center.
TO THE POINT
What is nuclear medicine and radiopharmaceuticals?
– Nuclear medicine is everything produced by nuclear reactors and particle accelerators. As a result, we get various radionuclides, that is, radioactive preparations. As a rule, these are sources of beta or alpha radiation, which is harmful to the cell. Malignant tumors are made up of proteins. Thus, harmful radionuclides can be combined with a protein that is taken up by cancer cells, helping the drug to penetrate exactly inside tumor cells, Academician Kaprin said in an interview with KP.RU.
Radiopharmaceuticals (RP) can replace many traditional medicines. And at the same time, they can be super-targeted, that is, they can hit exactly the target, in the tumor cells, without harming the surrounding healthy tissues. Another feature is that for a number of tumors there are no other treatment methods except exposure to radionuclides. Because these types of cancer are resistant (resistant) to both chemotherapy and external beam radiation therapy. One example is neuroendocrine tumors, which most often develop in the intestines, stomach, and pancreas.
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