Plus Therapeutics Says Its Radiation Technology is The Most Precise in Targeting and Killing Cancer Cells

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

For more than 100 years, radiotherapy has been a cost-effective and essential tool in treating certain types of cancer. Traditional external beam radiation therapy delivers radiation beams from outside into the body to kill tumors and has been instrumental in treating uncommon deadly cancers.

Cancers are difficult to treat. By their nature, this group of diseases can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow irrepressibly and spread to other organs and parts of the body. These abnormalities pose challenges to scientists who still face several hurdles as current therapies don’t work in all patients or against all cancers, leading to the loss of lives.

Targeted Precision Treatment

Texas-based clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, Plus Therapeutics Inc. PSTV says that it has for some years now been shedding light on uncommon cancers like glioblastoma (GBM) — a malignant brain tumor that develops from a specific type of brain cell called an astrocyte. It is the most common intracranial tumor of the primary central nervous system and is very aggressive and grows into surrounding brain tissue. Read more about GBM here.

The company has dedicated itself to developing innovative, targeted radiotherapeutics for adult and pediatric patients worldwide with rare and difficult-to-treat cancers.

Plus Therapeutics is uniquely focused on developing a nanotechnology platform designed to reformulate, deliver and commercialize multiple radiotherapeutics targeting rare cancers and other diseases. The company has developed a radiation technology it claims to accurately target and kill cancer cells, especially in the brain.

Marc Hedrick, MD, President, and CEO of Plus Therapeutics Inc. speaking at Benzinga All Access, explained that the challenge with treatment for cancers like thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism has been getting a high enough amount of radiation to just the areas affected cells in the organ.

“Through new medical devices, imaging, and molecular targeting, now you can take incredibly high doses of radiation and then basically parachute them right onto the tumor, essentially attacking the tumor and only the tumor, without damaging the normal tissue,” he said.

From his background and history in surgeries, Dr. Hedrick observed that terrible neurological cancers like GBM currently lack sufficient treatment options. There are risks with treatments developed for them because of the blood-brain barrier.

“It’s really tough to get drugs beyond that in high enough doses to work and there’s some ambiguity about how a lot of these drugs work,” he said. “The brain is isolated from the rest of the body metabolically and radiation in the form of high energy electrons or beta particles will kill brain cancer.”

While Dr. Hedrick believes enough targeted radiation can eradicate any tumor, the main challenge has been how it can be done precisely to avoid the downstream effects to the other normal tissues and cells.

New Technologies

New imaging and software technologies that make it possible to see tumors in 3D or similar to an MRI are among innovations providing new pathways for treatment. Radioisotopes like rhenium and the ability to put needles or catheters into the brain in a minimally invasive manner to deliver drugs makes it possible for Plus Therapeutics to make headway in treatments and drug development.

The company’s lead product candidate — Rhenium-186 NanoLiposome (186RNL) — is a targeted or precision radiotherapeutic drug that is used for a variety of indications. “If you can put it into the brain, you could theoretically put it into any ordinary tumor,” Dr. Hedrick added.

Plus Therapeutics is strategically looking for ways to build-out its pipeline beyond 186RNL because of the enormous potential technologies and pathways.

He revealed the company had built its core expertise to efficiently "develop and roll out" its drug and technology. "Which is not insignificant because we have expertise in imaging, radio therapeutics, and drug formulation. You don't develop that accidentally; you develop that intentionally and we've built the sort of infrastructure for that. We're looking to leverage our infrastructure in bringing more to the therapeutics market beyond just 186RNL."

Plus Therapeutics is hosting a key opinion leader roundtable webinar on November 18 to present a deep dive into the ReSPECT™-GBM clinical trial findings. Get more information about the webcast here.

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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