New study looks to create more effective cancer detection

Israeli company works with Bar-Ilan University to develop innovative method for diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Cancer cells
Cancer cells
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The Israeli Isotopia company, in collaboration with Prof. Rachela Popovtzer of Bar-Ilan University, is conducting a joint study to develop a radioactive marker, based on nanoparticles, for the detection of cancer.

The goal of this research is to facilitate, for the first time, the distinction between tumors and inflammation.

The most common imaging method for diagnosing and monitoring cancer today is the positron emission tomography (PET) scan used with radioactive contrast material fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). However, FDG gives high rates of false positives, which lead to false therapeutic observations and expensive costs for health care systems. The main problem is that the test can detect not only tumors, but also inflammation, making it difficult to differentiate between cancerous growths and inflammation.

The material being developed by the researchers is a radioactive contrast agent based on nanoparticles. In addition to identifying, imaging and tracking cancerous tumors, these nanoparticles make it possible to make an unequivocal distinction between tumor and inflammation.

"The technology we are developing is significant because it will enable physicians to make a better diagnosis," said Isotopia Molecular Imaging CEO Dr. Eli Shalom. "Another advantage is that it will be used in existing PET/CT centers and rely on equipment that's already in place, so it's very economical."

Dr. Shalom emphasized that the vision in this development is far beyond specific cancer identification.

"The method we are developing can be combined with Lu177 for therapy as well as the imaging. This is an innovative field called theranostics (therapy + diagnostics). In the theranostics model, we use the same molecules and radiolabel them for imaging and therapy each time with a different isotope."

Isotopia, which today focuses on the development of theranostic products for prostate cancer, will be an excellent platform for bringing development to the global market

The research is being carried out within the framework of the "Magneton" program of the "Innovation Authority" (formerly the "Bureau of the Scientist"), which funds research aimed at encouraging the transfer of technological know-how accumulated in academia for innovative industry products. Fundraising for Magneton (for Bar-Ilan University) was overseen by Birad Research and Development Company Ltd.".


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