Covalent targeted radioligands potentiate radionuclide therapy. (

These scientists wanted to find a better way to treat cancer using a method called targeted radionuclide therapy. This therapy involves using special medicines that carry powerful radiation to tumors to help get rid of them. The challenge is to make sure the medicine goes to the tumor and not to healthy tissues in the body.

So, the scientists came up with a clever idea. They added a special chemical called a SuFEx linker to the medicine to help it stick to a specific protein found in the tumor. When the medicine binds to this protein, it undergoes a change that helps it attach more strongly to the tumor cells. This way, the medicine stays in the tumor for a longer time and doesn't get cleared away too quickly.

They tested this new medicine in mice and found that it was much better at targeting the tumors compared to the original medicine. It also stayed in the tumor for a longer time while quickly getting cleared from healthy tissues. In a small study with patients, they found that this new medicine could detect more tumor spots than other methods.

The scientists also used this new method to treat tumors in mice and found that it caused the tumors to shrink a lot. They also tried it with another medicine that targets a different protein found in prostate cancer, and it worked really well too.

Overall, this new approach could be a promising way to treat different types of cancer by targeting specific proteins in the tumors.

Cui XY., Li Z., Kong Z., Liu Y., Meng H., Wen Z., Wang C., Chen J., Xu M., Li Y., Gao J., Zhu W., Hao Z., Huo L., Liu S., Yang Z., Liu Z. Covalent targeted radioligands potentiate radionuclide therapy. Nature. 2024 May 22. doi: 10.1038/s41586-024-07461-6.

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