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Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2007 Mar;4(2):175-86.

Targeted delivery of antitumoral therapy to glioma and other malignancies with synthetic chlorotoxin (TM-601).

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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, Department of Neurosurgery, Los Angeles, CA8631 W. Third Street, Suite 800e, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.


Targeted therapies for cancer is a rapidly advancing field, but the identification of tumor-specific ligands has proven difficult. Chlorotoxin (CTX) is a small, 36 amino acid neurotoxin isolated from the venom of the Giant Yellow Israeli scorpion Leiurus Quinquestriatus. Interestingly, the peptide has been found to preferentially bind to a variety of human malignancies, but shows little or no binding to normal human tissues. A synthetic version of this peptide (TM-601) has been manufactured and covalently linked to iodine 131 (131I-TM-601) as a means of targeting radiation to tumor cells. Preclinical studies and Phase I clinical trials have been completed in patients with recurrent glioma, a type of malignant brain tumor. These studies demonstrated that intracavitary dosing of 131I-TM-601 appears safe, minimally toxic, and binds malignant glioma with high affinity and for long durations. A Phase II trial of this agent using higher doses of radioactivity and repeated local administrations is underway. In addition, enrolment has begun in a Phase I trial evaluating whether systemically delivered 131I-TM-601 can be used to image metastatic solid tumors and primary gliomas. Due to its small size, selective tumor binding properties, minimal toxicity and relative ease of manipulation, CTX represents a potentially important targeting agent for many cancers.

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