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Plant Derived Radiotherapy Enhancer for Reducing Hypoxia and Anemia During Radiation Therapy

J Wood1, M Moreau2 , W Swanson3 , S Yasmin-Karim4 , Bashkim Z5 , W Ngwa3,6*, (1) Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Womens Hospital, Boston, MA, Boston, MA, (2) Dana Farber Cancer Institute/University of Massachusetts Lowell, MA, (3) University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA, (4) Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, (5) Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, (6) Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


(Tuesday, 7/16/2019) 1:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Room: Exhibit Hall | Forum 4

Purpose: Tumor hypoxia (low oxygen-in-tumor) leads to resistance to radiotherapy, while anemia (low oxygen-in-blood) increases in severity during the course of radiotherapy treatment. The purpose of this study is to develop a new radiotherapy treatment enhancer (RTE) that can significantly reduce hypoxia and anemia for cancer patients leading to increase in response to treatment (survival) and quality of life.

Methods: We identified and isolated a hemoglobin-rich RTE from Justicia (Family Acanthaceae) plant using water extraction, centrifuging, HPLC and lyophilization methods. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was employed in analysis of the resulting RTE. Two separate human hemoglobin assay kits were used to assess the level of hemoglobin present in the RTE in comparison to human hemoglobin lyophilized powder as a control. The RTE was characterized by scanning electron microscopy images (JEOL model JSM 7401F microscope). Ultraviolet–visible (UV-VIS) spectroscopy was performed with Agilent model 8453 spectrophotometer over a wavelength range up to 1000 nm. ABL80 FLEX CO-Oximeter was used to assess oxygen partial pressure levels for the RTE. The effect of RTE on both normal and cancer cells was assessed in-vitro and in-vivo.

Results: Results obtained from different hemoglobin assay kits (Cayman Chemical, and Sigma Aldrich) showed remarkably high hemoglobin concentrations over 4 times higher than equivalent mass of purified human hemoglobin powder. UV-VIS data showed two mini-absorption peaks around 571 nm and 540 nm confirming the presence of oxyhemoglobin. CO-Oximeter results showed high partial pressures of oxygen consistent with values of oxygen found in oxygenated human blood. Meanwhile ICP-MS revealed the presence of heme iron whose rapid absorption reduces anemia. Moreover, in-vitro and in-vivo results showed the RTE has anti-neoplastic properties while being non-toxic to normal cells.

Conclusion: The new RTE has major potential for use in reducing hypoxia, and anemia during radiotherapy treatment.


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