Pancreatic cancer is one of the most dangerous types of cancer. Developing in the body, the disease does not make itself felt for a long time. The main symptoms (fatigue, loss of appetite and rapid weight loss) appear at late stages of the disease, making it difficult to diagnose. American experts suggest a new method of treatment – with the help of the Listeria bacteria as a vehicle for the radioactive rhenium isotope transfer.
Professor Ekaterina Dadachova says they chose rhenium, because it emits beta particles, which are effective in the treatment of cancer. In addition, the selected rhenium isotope has a half-life of 17 hours, so that it is excreted from the body relatively quickly, minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
In the course of the experiment, one laboratory mouse was injected bacteria with rhenium isotope inside the peritoneum, while another specimen remained without therapy. The treatment took place in several stages: seven days of injections, followed by a seven-day break, after which the treatment was prolonged for another 4 days, and after three days more (ie 21 days) the experiment was stopped. The analysis showed a decrease in the number of damaged cells by 90%, with no negative effect from the use of the isotope.
Although the result is truly revolutionary, scientists refrain from loud words and are going to experiment with doses of radiation and the introduction of additional anti-cancer agents.