On July 7, 2011, the University of Alabama at Birmingham started recruiting patients for AREVA Med’s ²¹²Pb-TCMC-Trastuzumab radioimmunotherapy Phase I clinical trial using Lead-212 (212Pb).
Lead-212 is a rare radioactive isotope that lies at the heart of promising nuclear medical research to develop new cancer treatments. This innovative approach, known as alpha radioimmunotherapy (RIT), was shown to specifically pinpoint and destroy cancer cells while limiting toxicity to healthy cells during preclinical studies.
This is the first clinical trial using medical-grade lead-212, and is designed for patients with HER-2 expressing carcinoma (e.g., ovarian, pancreatic, peritoneal, colon, gastric, or breast), mainly confined to the abdominal cavity. For details concerning this clinical trial, visit: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01384253
Currently, cancer in the abdominal cavity can be challenging to cure with standard therapies, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and palliative care. The Alpha RIT treatment using AREVA’s lead-212 isotope is designed to address this unmet medical need.
Alpha RIT works by binding an isotope, such as lead-212, to an antibody. Using the body’s own antigens as ID tags on the individual neoplasm cancer cells, the antibodies with the isotopes individually connect with the cancer cells and destroy them. Watch the video showing this process.
In nuclear medicine, the development of new treatments is dictated by isotope availability. After years of research and development, AREVA created a process for extracting lead-212 isotopes from thorium derived from its industrial nuclear activities.
As announced in an earlier post, production of medical-grade lead-212 by AREVA Med, an AREVA subsidiary, will be conducted in the new Maurice Tubiana laboratory now under construction at Bessines-sur-Gartempe in the Limousin region of France.