New brain cancer therapy update this week

SAN ANTONIO (September 9, 2015) — The public can hear this week the first update of a first-in-human clinical trial where doctors insert nano-sized radioactive fat particles directly into deadly brain tumors.

“The early results are promising,” said Andrew Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., the Cancer Therapy & Research Center neuro-oncologist leading the clinical trial, “because despite giving the patients doses that are five times the level of conventional radiation, they haven’t shown the negative side effects.”

The lecture, part of a regular series by the CTRC at the UT Health Science Center, will take place Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The therapy uses radioactive isotopes called rhenium-186 encased in nano-sized liposomes. By delivering the microscopic particles via a thin catheter, doctors can give much more radiation to the tumor site without affecting surrounding healthy tissue.

Dr. Brenner and CTRC neurosurgeon John R. Floyd II, M.D. will present information about the study. Dr. Floyd will discuss technological advances on the catheter needed to place the material inside the tumors.

Three patients so far have been given the experimental therapy developed by researchers at the CTRC, Dr. Brenner said.

Two of the patients appear to be responding to the treatment, Dr. Brenner said, and none have shown the harsh side effects that often accompany radiation treatment.

“In rats we gave 27 times the amount of radiation that would be delivered with standard therapy,” he said, “and all of them did well. We’ve started slowly with these patients but now we’ll be able to try a bigger dose, and we will also start treating bigger tumors.”

The lecture is at the CTRC, 7979 Wurzbach Rd., on the fourth floor of the Grossman Building. For more information call (210) 450-1152. It will be livestreamed at
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The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit

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