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