Magazine article Science News

In a Similar Vein: Fluosol-DA

Magazine article Science News

In a Similar Vein: Fluosol-DA

Article excerpt

In a similar vein: Fluosol-DA

Perfluorochemicals are fluorine-containing compounds, many of which are able to carry large quantities of oxygen. Fluosol-DA, first developed in Japan, is a patented emulsion of two such perfluorochemical compounds, perfluorodecalin and perfluorotripropylamine. It is currently undergoing human clinical trials for a variety of potentially therapeutic uses. Among them:

As an "ischemic modifier' in conjunction with balloon angioplasty: Balloon angioplasty, in which a tiny balloon is inserted and temporarily inflated inside a coronary artery, has become a popular method of unclogging blood vessels that are responsible for bringing oxygen to the heart. During the procedure itself, however, blood flow to the heart is blocked, limiting the time allowed for the delicate operation. Fluosol is being used experimentally in animals to oxygenate the heart during this induced "ischemia,' or lack of oxygen.

It's hoped that the technique will allow physicians to leave the balloon inflated for longer periods, as longer inflation time is believed to make the vessel treatment more permanent.

"Fluosol has a very small particle size --much, much smaller than any red blood cell,' says George Groveman, of Alpha Therapeutic, which holds the U.S. license to manufacture and test Fluosol. "A Fluosol particle is about one-seventieth the size of a red blood cell,' which allows Fluosol to go "where the delivery of blood is either not possible or is submaximal.'

As a cancer therapy enhancer: Nearly all solid cancer tumors contain cells that are extremely low in oxygen--a property that makes them resistant to both radiation therapy and chemotherapy. "Both modes of therapy require high levels of intracellular oxygen to exert their maximum effect,' Groveman says, "so by oxygenating a tumor with Fluosol we are able to sensitize it to radiation or to chemotherapy. …

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