Posts Tagged ‘photodynamic therapy’

Prostate Cancer: Diagnosis and Novel Treatment – Articles of Note  @PharmaceuticalIntelligence.com

Curators: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


Tookad appears to be more than OK!




Weizmann-developed drug may be speedy prostate cancer cure, studies show

In a trial, a photosynthesis-based therapy eliminates cancer in over 80% of patients – and could be used to attack other cancers, too. After 2-year clinical trial, therapy approved for marketing in Mexico; application submitted for Europe.


By David Shamah Apr 3, 2016, 5:05 pm


Scientists at the Weizmann Institute may have found the cure for prostate cancer, at least if it is caught in its early stages – via a drug that doctors inject into cancerous cells and treat with infrared laser illumination.

Using a therapy lasting 90 minutes, the drug, called Tookad Soluble, targets and destroys cancerous prostate cells, studies show, allowing patients to check out of the hospital the same day without the debilitating effects of chemical or radiation therapy or the invasive surgery that is usually used to treat this disease.

The drug has been tested in Europe and in several Latin American countries, and is being marketed by Steba Biotech, an Israeli biotech start-up with R&D facilities in Ness Ziona. The drug and its accompanying therapy were developed in the lab of Weizmann Institute professors Yoram Salomon of the Biological Regulation Department and Avigdor Scherz of the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department.

Based on principles of photosynthesis, the drug uses infrared illumination to activate elements that choke off cancer cells, but spares the healthy ones.

The therapy was recently approved for marketing in Mexico, after a two-year Phase III clinical trial in which 80 patients from Mexico, Peru and Panama who suffered from early-stage prostate cancer were treated with the Tookad system. Two years after treatment, over 80% of the study’s subjects remained cancer-free.

A similar study being undertaken in Europe showed similar results, Steba Biotech said, and the company had submitted a marketing authorization application to the European Medicine Agency for authorization of Tookad as a treatment of localized prostate cancer.

The approved therapy was developed by Salomon and Scherz using a clever twist on photosynthesis called photodynamic therapy, in which elements are activated when they are exposed to a specific wavelength of light.

Tookad was first synthesized in Scherz’s lab from bacteriochlorophyll, the photosynthetic pigment of a type of aquatic bacteria that draw their energy supply from sunlight. Photosynthesis style, the infrared light activates Tookad (via thin optic fibers that are inserted into the cancerous prostatic tissue) which consists of oxygen and nitric oxide radicals that initiate occlusion and destruction of the tumor blood vessels.

These elements are toxic to the cancer cells and once the Tookad formula is activated, they invade the cancer cells, preventing them from absorbing oxygen and choking them until they are dead. The Tookad solution, having done its job, is supposed to then be ejected from the body, with no lingering consequences – and no more cancer.

With the drug approved for prostate cancer – and able to reach cancerous cells that are deep within the body via a minimally invasive procedure – Steba believes it may be able to treat other forms of cancer. In fact, the company said, it is also pursuing early stage studies of Tookad in esophageal cancer, urothelial carcinoma, advanced prostate cancer, renal carcinoma, and triple negative breast cancer in collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Weizmann Institute, and Oxford University.

“The use of near-infrared illumination, together with the rapid clearance of the drug from the body and the unique non-thermal mechanism of action, makes it possible to safely treat large, deeply embedded cancerous tissue using a minimally invasive procedure,” according to Steba.

The Weizmann Institute has been working with Steba researchers for some 20 years to develop Tookad, said Amir Naiberg, CEO of the Yeda Research and Development Company, the Weizmann Institute’s technology transfer arm and the licensor of the therapy. “The commitment made by the shareholders of Steba and their personal relationship and effective collaboration with Weizmann Institute scientists and Yeda have enabled this tremendous accomplishment.”

“We are excited to bring a unique and innovative solution to physicians and patients for the management of low-risk prostate cancer in Mexico and subsequently to other Latin American countries,” said Raphael Harari, chief executive officer of Steba Biotech. “This approval is recognition of the tremendous effort deployed over the years by the scientists of Steba Biotech and the Weizmann Institute to develop a therapy that can control effectively low-risk prostate cancer while preserving patients’ quality of life.”



Original Study


Other articles on Prostate Cancer were published in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal, including the following:

Articles by Larry H. Bernstein

Nanoscale Photodynamic Therapy


Laser Therapy Opens Blood-Brain Barrier

Single Cell Shines Light on Cell Malignant Transformation  

Low Energy Photon Intra-Operative Radiotherapy System

Articles by the Team @PharmaceuticalIntelligence.com

Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer

University of Liverpool Scientists Report New Urine Test To Detect Potential Biomarkers of Prostate Cancer

Who and when should we screen for prostate cancer?

Reactive Oxygen species in prostate cancer?

Following (or not) the guidelines for use of imaging in management of prostate cancer

Controlling focused-treatment of Prostate cancer with MRI

Combining Nanotube Technology and Genetically Engineered Antibodies to Detect Prostate Cancer Biomarkers

In Search of Clarity on Prostate Cancer Screening, Post-Surgical Followup, and Prediction of Long Term Remission

Prostate Cancer Molecular Diagnostic Market – the Players are: SRI Int’l, Genomic Health w/Cleveland Clinic, Myriad Genetics w/UCSF, GenomeDx and BioTheranostics

Early Detection of Prostate Cancer: American Urological Association (AUA) Guideline

A Blood Test to Identify Aggressive Prostate Cancer: a Discovery @ SRI International, Menlo Park, CA

Prostate Cancer: Androgen-driven “Pathomechanism” in Early-onset Forms of the Disease

Prostate Cancer and Nanotecnology

Prostate Cancer Cells: Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Induce Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition

Imaging agent to detect Prostate cancer-now a reality

Scientists use natural agents for prostate cancer bone metastasis treatment

Today’s fundamental challenge in Prostate cancer screening

Prostate Cancers Plunged After USPSTF Guidance, Will It Happen Again?

Nanoparticle delivery to cancer drug targets

Perspectives on Anti-metastatic Effects in Cancer Research 2015

Identifying Cancers and Resistance

Peptides and anti-Cancer activity

Breakthrough work in cancer*

Imaging Technology in Cancer Surgery

Immunotherapy in Cancer: A Series of Twelve Articles in the Frontier of Oncology by Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP

Urological Cancers of Men

Current Advanced Research Topics in MRI-based Management of Cancer Patients

A Synthesis of the Beauty and Complexity of How We View Cancer

The importance of spatially-localized and quantified image interpretation in cancer management

Cancer Metastasis

Issues in Personalized Medicine in Cancer: Intratumor Heterogeneity and Branched Evolution Revealed by Multiregion Sequencing

In Focus: Identity of Cancer Stem Cells

On the road to improve prostate biopsy

State of the art in oncologic imaging of Prostate.

New clinical results supports Imaging-guidance for targeted prostate biopsy

The Incentive for “Imaging based cancer patient’ management”

Topics in Pathology :Liquid Biopsy Assay May Predict Drug Resistance

Opening Ceremony and Award Presentations from the 2015 AACR Meeting in Philadelphia PA

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Nanoscale photodynamic therapy

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator


Researchers from the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), an Australian Research Centre of Excellence, have shown that nanoparticles used in combination with X-rays, are a viable method for killing cancer cells deep within the living body.

The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports is based on the successful quantification of singlet oxygen produced during photodynamic therapy for cancer. Singlet oxygen molecules (a highly reactive form of oxygen) are able to kill or inhibit growth of cancer cells in the body due to their toxicity.

Co-lead author on the paper, Ewa Goldys, Deputy Director of the CNBP and Professor at Macquarie University explained, “Photodynamic therapy is where light sensitive compounds are placed near diseased cells, then activated by light, producing short lived molecular by-products that can destroy or damage the cells being targeted.”

“In this case, X-rays (a form of light) were used to stimulate cerium fluoride (CeF3) nanoparticles which had been placed near a group of cells. Singlet oxygen was produced as a by-product of the X-ray and CeF3 interaction, which was then successfully measured.”

Goldys believes the research is significant, as this is the first time that anyone has been able to quantify accurately, the number of singlet oxygen molecules produced in this type of procedure.

“Singlet oxygen molecules are a far more reactive form of oxygen but they can only kill cancer cells if generated in sufficient quantity”, said Goldys.

“In our testing we established that therapeutic radiation dose X-rays, produce enough singlet oxygen molecules to be effective in photodynamic therapy.”

According to Goldys, photodynamic therapy has traditionally utilised near-infrared or visible light which has been unable to penetrate far into the body, limiting its use to cancer treatment, on or near the surface of the skin.

“We’re looking to target cancer cells deeper in the body hence the use of X-rays, which can really penetrate into deeper levels of tissue, and are already used in medical diagnostic and therapy.’

Concluded Goldys, “What we’ve shown through our measurements is the applicability of the photodynamic therapy approach to effectively treat tumours within.”

“The beauty of this type of treatment is that it uses different biological pathways to kill cells as compared to chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other current cancer practices.

“Deep tissue photodynamic therapy will potentially provide new treatment options for the cancer patients of the future.”

Next steps with this research will see differing nanoparticles tested and measured, for effectiveness in singlet oxygen production.

ernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator



Counting Cancer-busting Oxygen Molecules

Macquarie University   http://www.rdmag.com/news/2016/02/counting-cancer-busting-oxygen-molecules



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