Home Science & Technology Tiny ‘drug factory’ implants can eliminate tumors in mice in just days:...

Tiny ‘drug factory’ implants can eliminate tumors in mice in just days: ScienceAlert


Scientists have managed to stop the advanced stages of cancer in mice with the help of implanted “drug factories” – and the new type of treatment becomes effective after a few days.

Although it will take some time for this approach to be tested and work in humans, the signs are promising that we have a new and powerful way to fight mesotheliomaaggressive form of lungs cancer.

Drug factories consist of small balls alginates, each just 1.5 millimeters wide, and designed to produce continuous bursts of interleukin-2 (IL-2). This natural compound activates the body’s white blood cells to fight tumors.

“I take care of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma” says thoracic surgeon and surgical oncologist Brian Burt from Baylor College of Medicine. “It is a very aggressive malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, and it is very difficult to completely cure it by surgical resection.”

“In other words, residual disease often remains. Treating this residual disease with local immunotherapy — the local delivery of relatively high doses of immunotherapy into that pleural space — is a very attractive way to treat this disease.”

frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autostart; clipboard-record; encrypted media; gyroscope; picture in picture” allowfullscreen>

This “pleural space” refers to the layer of tissue that covers the lungs, where mesothelioma tumors also develop. Part of the success of treatment depends on it being targeted at the local level.

The team also combined the implants with a so-called checkpoint inhibitor, a type of drug that doesn’t fight cancer directly but trains the immune system to better identify and eliminate cancer cells. Here, an inhibitor targeting the PD-1 protein was used.

By themselves, the drug factory’s implants destroyed tumors in more than half of the animals tested. When combined with a checkpoint inhibitor, tumors were completely eradicated in seven mice.

“Our data show that regional delivery of these immunotherapy particles to mice with mesothelioma has highly provocative and highly effective treatment responses,” – says Burt.

“In fact, I haven’t seen these mesothelioma tumors in mice being killed as efficiently as in this mouse model.”

Based on the results obtained by the scientists, they believe that there is a good chance that the treatment can also effectively teach the memory T cells in the body to fight mesothelioma again if it recurs.

Although IL-2 treatments have proven to be effective, they can also be quite serious side effects. This is another area where the targeted nature of the new therapy can help because it limits the parts of the body that are exposed to the drug.

What’s more, the same drug beading technique was previously used by some of the same researchers to try to deal with ovarian and human cancer clinical trials treatment for this is scheduled to begin in the next few months. This is a treatment that can go far beyond mesothelioma.

“From the beginning, our goal was to develop a platform therapy that could be used for several different types of immune system disorders or different types of cancer,” says bioengineer Amanda Nash from Rice University in Texas.

The study was published in Clinical research on cancer.

Previous articleJapanese liquor companies turn to soft drinks to appeal to Generation Z By Reuters
Next articleMarket optimism returns as Inner Marrickville house breaks reserve