An analog of the human cell's DNA can be incorporated into tumors resulting in an increase in the effect of radiation, Stanford University investigators report.
Several barriers remain before the technique proves its clinical worth, Malcolm A. Bagshaw, MD, told the American Radium Society's Golden Anniversary meeting in Phoenix.
An increased epidermal reaction, "indicating greater radiation dose efficiency," has been seen with patients treated with intra-arterial 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BUDR) and x-rays.
"We believe what we are seeing is an increased radiation response produced by the substitution of BUDR in the cell," he told JAMA Medical News. "The effect is more than the additive one sees with methotrexate or mercaptopurine."
Previously untreated persons with epidermoid carcinoma of the head and neck have been studied.
In one group, BUDR was infused both before and during radiation therapy. Other patients have received x-rays alone, methotrexate and irradiation or both methotrexate and BUDR with x-rays.