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U of S researchers design radioactive antibody which assassinates colorectal cancer cells

WATCH ABOVE: University of Saskatchewan researchers have created assassin antibody which cling to colorectal cancer cells and destroy them. Jackie Wilson has more.

A new treatment for advanced colorectal cancer is being developed by a team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan‘s College of Medicine.

Led by assistant professor Humphrey Fonge, the researchers created an assassin antibody — with attached radioactive molecules — that cling to a specific protein on colorectal cancer cells and kill them by releasing high energy.

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“This is a personalized medicine approach enabling us to treat the cancer in a very pinpointed way, while sparing healthy tissue,” Fonge said in a press release.

“This could transform outcomes for many colorectal cancer patients including those at the advanced stages of the cancer.”

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Breast cancer screening mobile van helping women in rural and remote Sask.
Breast cancer screening mobile van helping women in rural and remote Sask.

According to U of S, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in North America. Patients with advanced colorectal cancer generally have a life expectancy of around 24 to 30 months.

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Current antibody drug therapies can slow down the spread of colorectal cancer, but do not destroy the existing cancer cells.

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Sobering results from new study on colorectal cancer
Sobering results from new study on colorectal cancer

Fonge said their new treatment is a novel radio-immunotherapy approach.

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He added their initial evaluation of the assassin antibody in mice has been very promising and they hope to move to human trials in two years.

The U of S team is planning to study whether the new antibody could be used to treat other cancers, including breast and pancreatic cancers, which express the same protein.