A physician talks with a patient at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center. Courtesy photo.
A physician talks with a patient at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center. Courtesy photo.

Editor’s Note: The following story was distributed by University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio on Wednesday, Sept. 9 and has been republished with permission.


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 Dr. Andrew Brenner, the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) 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 University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, will take place Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. It will be livestreamed at www.ctrc.net/LIVE.

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 Dr. John R. Floyd II 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.

For current news from the UT Health Science Center, please visit our news release website or follow us on Twitter @uthscsa.

*Top image: A physician talks with a patient at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center. Courtesy photo.

Related Stories:

University Health System and UT Health Science Center Renew Historic Ties

San Antonio’s Public Health in the 21st Century

How the Children’s Hospital is Revolutionizing Health Care with Food

UT Health Science Center: State of the University

A Research University’s Role in a City on the Rise

Avatar photo

Elizabeth Allen

Elizabeth Allen is public relations manager at University Health System. She works with news media, writes, produces video, and hosts Sounds Healthy, the University Health System podcast.