Cancer Drug Trial Success - 09-24-2011, 03:16 PM
A trial of a new cancer drug, which accurately targets
tumours, has been so successful it has been stopped early.
Alpha particles can damage cells
Doctors at London's Royal Marsden Hospital gave prostate cancer patients
a powerful alpha radiation drug and found that they lived longer, and
experienced less pain and side effects.
The medics then stopped the trial of 922 people, saying it was unethical
not to offer all of them the treatment.
Lead researcher Dr Chris Parker said it was "a significant step forward".
Cancer Research UK said it was a very important and promising discovery.
Radiation has been used to treat tumours for more than a century. It
damages the genetic code inside cancerous cells.
Alpha particles are the big, bulky, bruisers of the radiation world. It is a
barrage of helium nuclei, which are far bigger than beta radiation, a stream
of electrons, or gamma waves.
Dr Parker told the BBC: "It's more damaging. It takes one, two, three hits
to kill a cancer cell compared with thousands of hits for beta particles."
Alpha particles also do less damage to surrounding tissue. He added: "They
have such a tiny range, a few millionths of a metre. So we can be sure
that the damage is being done where it should be."
In 90% of patients with advanced prostate cancer, the tumour will have
spread to the bone. At this stage there are no treatments which affect
The study looked at patients with these secondary cancers, as the source
of radiation - radium-223 chloride - acts like calcium and sticks to bone.
Half were given the radium-223 chloride drug alongside traditional
chemotherapy, while the other patients received chemotherapy and a
The death rate was 30% lower in the group taking radium-223. Those
patients survived for 14 months on average compared to 11 months in the
The trial was abandoned as "it would have been unethical not to offer the
active treatment to those taking placebo", said Dr Parker.
He added: "I think it will be a significant step forward for cancer patients".
Researchers also said the treatment was safe. Curiously there were fewer
side-effects in the group taking the treatment than those taking the
The findings are being presented at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer
Congress but they have not yet been peer-reviewed by other academics.
Prof Gillies McKenna, Cancer Research UK's radiotherapy expert and
director of the Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology, said:
"This appears to be an important study using a highly targeted form of
radiation to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones.
"This research looks very promising and could be an important addition to
approaches available to treat secondary tumours - and should be
BBC News - Alpha radiation treats prostate cancers
To advise others is an easy matter, the difficulty is accepting advice -- since it is bitter for those who follow their
own inclinations and desires.
-Imam al Ghazali
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09-24-2011, 09:58 PM
Salam Haris wror,This is a good break through , as everyone tries to support cancer research trust, but was just wondering ,why does the government waste the lottery money on pathetic dancing halls and clubs each month?when so many people are dieing from cancer each year.
09-24-2011, 09:58 PM
food grade hydrogen peroxide, has been in use as a cancer cure for more than 30 years, i read. it is not commercially profitable for the pharmaceutical companies and has been suppressed for general use, as a cancer cure.
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