Narrator: This is Science Today. For roughly a century, one of the goals in medicine had been to use radioactivity to target and irradiate tumors. It's only been recently that the FDA approved a cancer therapy that uses this technique, which is called smart bomb therapy. Claude Meares, a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Davis explains how it works.
Meares: If you want to deliver radiotherapy to a cancer and not to normal a very nice way to do that is to use an antibody, load that antibody up with something that will deliver radiation and allow it to float through the body until it finds a cancer cell and stick there and irradiate the cell.
Narrator: Meares is working on a technique that goes a step beyond this concept.
Meares: What we do is use antibodies, but we don't load them up with radiation. We load them up with a receptor molecule that is not radioactive and doesn't irradiate any normal tissue.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.