Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission


Radioimmunotherapy could cure fungal diseases

Brussels, 1 December - Invasive fungal infections (IFI) are a major threat to individuals with cancer, transplants, HIV, and other conditions that weaken their immune system. New research has shown that radioimmunotherapy (RIT) could be a promising avenue for development of new types of treatment of fungal diseases, according to a paper published by scientists of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in collaboration with other researchers.

The results of the research project indicate that RIT could have distinct advantages over existing therapies as it can better remove fungal pathogens, is less likely to lead to development of resistant strains, and may shorten the duration of the treatment. In addition, RIT is less toxic than the current antifungals.

Fungal diseases can be life threatening to patients with immune compromised conditions. The number of cases have more than tripled since 1979. The need for new approaches to treat fungal diseases is highlighted by the fact that there are significantly fewer available medications for fungal diseases than for bacterial diseases, and that the most recent generation of antifungal medication was developed ten years ago, which increases the risk of developing resistant strains.