News | July 13, 2009

Molecule Programmed to Act as Prostate Cancer "Homing Device"

July 13, 2009 - Purdue University researchers have developed a "homing device" for prostate cancer using by synthesizing a molecule that finds and penetrates prostate cancer cells and using imaging agents and therapeutic drugs that can link to the molecule and be carried with it as cargo.

In the study, led by Philip Low, professor of Biochemistry, Purdue University, radioimaging application for body scans and an optical imaging application used to measure prostate cancer cells in blood samples to detect prostate cancer.

The molecule the team created attaches to prostate-specific membrane antigen, or PSMA, a protein that is found on the membrane of more than 90 percent of all prostate cancers. It also is found on the blood vessels of most solid tumors and could provide a way to cut off the tumor blood supply. There may also be an indication for targeting molecule to be used to attack the vasculature of solid tumors of other types of cancers.

Two papers detailing the work of the Purdue team were published in the June 1 issue of Molecular Pharmaceutics. Endocyte Inc. funded the work.

For more information: www.acs.org

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