Publications

Publications

The Future of NMR Metabolomics in Cancer Therapy: Towards Personalizing Treatment and Developing Targeted Drugs?

By:
Contributors: Hans Vogel Research Group
Metabolites. 2013 May 17;3(2):373-96. doi: 10.3390/metabo3020373.

Abstract

There has been a recent shift in how cancers are defined, where tumors are no longer simply classified by their tissue origin, but also by their molecular characteristics. Furthermore, personalized medicine has become a popular term and it could start to play an important role in future medical care. However, today, a “one size fits all” approach is still the most common form of cancer treatment. In this mini-review paper, we report on the role of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolomics in drug development and in personalized medicine. NMR spectroscopy has successfully been used to evaluate current and potential therapies, both single-agents and combination therapies, to analyze toxicology, optimal dose, resistance, sensitivity, and biological mechanisms. It can also provide biological insight on tumor subtypes and their different responses to drugs, and indicate which patients are most likely to experience off-target effects and predict characteristics for treatment efficacy. Identifying pre-treatment metabolic profiles that correlate to these events could significantly improve how we view and treat tumors. We also briefly discuss several targeted cancer drugs that have been studied by metabolomics. We conclude that NMR technology provides a key platform in metabolomics that is well-positioned to play a crucial role in realizing the ultimate goal of better tailored cancer medicine.

 

PubMed

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The Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre has the highest accrual for a novel ultrasound study in prostate cancer

“We have enrolled over 400 patients at our site, reaching our enrollment goal much faster than all other sites across North America. We are now planning on adding in 250 more patients to this trial because of the encouraging results found with the first arm of the trial. Our site tied with the highest accrual goal and surpassed all other sites to meet our enrollment goal.”

The study is a “Multi-Center trial of high-resolution transrectal ultrasound versus standard low-resolution transrectal ultrasound for the identification of clinically significant prostate cancer”

The only definitive method for diagnosing prostate cancer is through a prostate biopsy. This procedure includes the use of an ultrasound machine to guide both freezing needles and biopsy needles into the prostate. The ultrasound machine that is currently in use is a low-resolution ultrasound machine which means that although it is good at seeing the entire prostate gland to guide the needles, it is often unable to visualize the prostate in enough detail to be able to see different lesions and areas of concern within it. Thus, many biopsy samples are taken systematically with two samples from each section of the prostate. Recently a new ultrasound machine has been created that gives images of the prostate with much higher resolution, allowing the radiologist performing the biopsy to see details within the prostate that were previously inaccessible. A study using this new high-resolution ultrasound machine is being completed at the Prostate Cancer Centre to compare the adequacy of this new machine to detect prostate cancer over the standard low-resolution machine. Over 650 patients will be enrolled in this study!

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- Eric Hyndman