Laboratory research of cancer diseases, rack with RNA samples

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FDA Approves New Cancer Treatment Developed at Mizzou

February 12, 2018 - 8:12 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The FDA has approved a new cancer treatment based on a radioactive isotope developed at Mizzou over the last 15 years.

The active ingredient is in a new drug, Lutathera, which uses "targeted radio therapy" instead of chemotherapy to attack certain pancreatic and gastrointestinal tract cancers.

"The beauty of the targeted radio therapy is all you have to do is park the drug on the cancer cell. It doesn't have to go any further than that, the cell doesn't have to actually take it in or ingest it, if you will, instead we just park the radio isotope there and it has its destructive energy right on the cancer cell," says Ken Brooks, the University Research Reactor's associate director.

The Mizzou reactor is the only place in the country supplying the ingredient needed for Lutathera. He says chemotherapy, on average, extends the life span of a patient by 6 to 8 months. This targeted radio therapy is said to extend a patient's life by an average of 5 to 10 years.