Investigational New Drugs vol:30 issue:5 pages:2050-2065
Cancer is one of the major causes of death for non-transmissible chronic diseases worldwide. Conventional treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and external beam radiotherapy are generally far from curative. Complementary therapies are attempted for achieving more successful treatment response. Systemic targeted radiotherapy (STR) is a radiotherapeutic modality based on systemic administration of radioactive agents for selectively delivering high doses of energy to destroy cancer cells. For this purpose, diverse tumour-target specific agents including monoclonal antibodies (MoAb), MoAb fragments and peptides have been tested and some of them have already got FDA approval for clinical use. However, MoAbs and their tailored analogues have shown non-homogeneous tumour distribution, limited diffusion, insufficient intratumoral accumulation and retention, unwanted uptake in normal tissues and scarcity of identified cancer antigens for generating new MoAbs. Similarly, peptides have also exhibited retention in normal organs, lacks of favourable membrane permeability or drug cell internalization and short-term residence in cancer cells. Recently, a new category of target-specific agent with strong affinity for necrosis has emerged as an excellent option for developing targeted radiotherapeutic agents to be used after necrosis-inducing treatments (NITs). The combination of their high, specific and long-term accumulation and retention at necrotic sites with the crossfire effect of ionizing particle-emitters allows irradiating adjacent residual viable tumour cells during a prolonged period of time. It may considerably enhance the therapeutic response and open a new horizon for improved cancer treatability or curability.