Also known as vitamin B7, coenzyme R, W Factor, and vitamin H

Enhancing Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer Patients with Biotin

Biotin can help improve breast cancer radiation treatment outcomes.

Results of a preliminary clinical study suggest that the intrinsic protein-binding properties of biotin can be utilized to enhance radiotherapy after surgery for early-stage breast cancer patients. This new therapy technique, which combines intraoperative avidination for radionuclide therapy (IART) with radioactively tagged biotin (Y-biotin), reduced the amount of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) to the tumor bed after surgery. In essence, the biotin molecule acts as a carrier for the therapeutic radiation molecule, and hones in on the treatment area because of its strong attraction to the avidin protein molecule which it then binds to, locking the mildly radioactive molecule in place where it is most needed.31

Since clinical trials show that EBRT post-surgery results in lower recurrence rates, it is considered a standard adjuvant treatment option for early breast cancer. However, it can be a time-consuming process - five treatments a week for up to seven weeks - which may explain why up to 30% of these breast cancer patients opt out of EBRT.31

Researchers suggest that the reduced EBRT treatment times associated with this new technique may make EBRT more palatable - especially for patients who live far from a treatment center - since it can be delivered in any hospital setting. Imaging done in clinical trials utilizing the avidin/biotin radiotherapy delivery system also showed that the radioactive material was quickly taken up and focused in the surgical area. This limited the radioactive material in normal tissue, (including the area surrounding where the tumor had been excised) as well as toxicity in the blood, kidneys, or liver.31

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A molecule of short half-life radioactive yttrium that emits beta particles (energetic electrons) bound to a biotin molecule.31
Also known as teletherapy.31
A protein in egg whites.9