January 23, 2017 8:50 am
Updated: January 23, 2017 10:21 am

Radioactive cancer-killing ‘smart’ drugs being developed at University of Saskatchewan

WATCH ABOVE: A team at the University of Saskatchewan is developing cancer-killing “smart” drugs and medical imaging technology. Jacqueline Wilson reports.


Imagine a world without cancer. That’s exactly what University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Canadian Research Chair Eric Price is working to achieve.

He’s leading a team of scientists to develop a new generation of medical imaging technology and radioactive drugs that together will select specific cancer cells and kill them.

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Because the “smart” drugs specifically target cancer cells and not healthy ones, the normally devastating side effects of chemotherapy and radiation will be drastically reduced.

“If you think a patient has a very specific type of cancer you give them the radioactive imaging drug to match and if you see a bunch of bright spots that show tumors on the imaging then you know you have the right type of cancer,” Price said from his lab at U of S.

“You can tailor to an exact person’s individual disease and what treatment to give them.”

“The methods currently used are not very effective because if you take a blood sample or biopsy you get a very tiny picture of what’s happening. Whereas with nuclear imaging you make the whole body transparent at one time. You can see everything happening at one time,” Price explained.

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Price’s research can also be applied to attacking bacterial infections which have become resistant to current drug treatments.

“We’re really at a take-off point where we’re growing in the field and it’s going to explode in the next five to 10 years.”

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