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Bevacizumab plus copper radiotracer shines as imaging probe

Bevacizumab plus copper radiotracer shines as imaging probe

GENEVA—Antiangiogenesis agent bevacizumab (Avastin) combined with the radioactive tracer Copper-64 may be an effective method for imaging tumors, according to research presented at EORTC-NCI-AACR 2008.

Zheng Jim Wang, PhD, director of molecular imaging at MPI Research of Mattawan, Mich., and colleagues attached bevacizumab and a radioactive tracer to mouse models of breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Wang and colleagues found the combination successfully targeted the cancer cells and produced clear and well-defined images when PET/CT scanned. Bevacizumab plus copper not only produced clearer images than the current gold standard 18-FDG, but the combination also detected smaller tumors and tumors at earlier stages, they reported.

Nicotine spurs breast tumor development

Nicotine may play a role in breast tumor development and metastases, according to a new study (Cancer Research 68: 8473-8481, 2008).

Lead author Chang Yan Chen, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston determined through a series of in-vitro tests that breast epithelial-like MCF10A cells and cancerous MCF7 cells both express several subunits of nAChR. When bound, they initiate a signaling process that potentially increases cell growth and migration. Nicotine, possibly through disturbing cell cycle checkpoints, potentiates tumorigenesis in mammary cancer-prone or cancer cells, Dr. Chen and colleagues said.

Nicotine is not a conventional carcinogen but rather combines with other factors, yet to be determined, to enable tumorigenesis, according to the research. More studies are needed to further explore the effects of nicotine, Dr. Chen said.

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