Cancer could be thwarted by 'drug factory': Pioneering technique rids mice of tumours in DAYS - freetxp

Cancer could be thwarted by ‘drug factory’: Pioneering technique rids mice of tumours in DAYS

Cancer patients could one day be treated by having tiny ‘drug factories’ put inside them, scientists say.

The experimental therapy, yet to be tested in humans, eradicated tumours of mice within six days.

It sees pinhead-sized beads inserted besides cancerous growths, in tissue lining the abdominal wall.

The factories, as they’ve been nicknamed, deliver a continuous dose of interleukin-2 to keep the immune system firing. The protein activates white blood cells to detect and fight cancer.

Researchers at the universities of Rice, Texas and Virginia say the ‘exciting’ treatment could be ready for human trials this autumn.

It may be used to treat pancreatic, liver and lung cancers or any other tumours in the peritoneum — a sac-like lining around the internal organs.

Doctors at the universities of Texas and Virginia developed beads (pictured) that sit in the fluid around the tumour and deliver a continuous and high dose of interleukin-2 — a protein in the immune system that activates white blood cells to detect and fight cancer

Doctors at the universities of Texas and Virginia developed beads (pictured) that sit in the fluid around the tumour and deliver a continuous and high dose of interleukin-2 — a protein in the immune system that activates white blood cells to detect and fight cancer

Doctors at the universities of Texas and Virginia developed beads (pictured) that sit in the fluid around the tumour and deliver a continuous and high dose of interleukin-2 — a protein in the immune system that activates white blood cells to detect and fight cancer

HOW DO THE ‘DRUG FACTORIES’ WORK?

Studies in mice found that an experimental cancer treatment eradicated cancer within just six days.

The treatment involves implanting tiny beads near the site of a tumour in a one-off minimally invasive surgery.

The capsules sit in fluid around the cancer and deliver a continuous high dose of interleukin-2 — a protein in the immune system that activates white blood cells to detect and fight cancer.

They are coated in a protective shell, made from materials that the immune system can recognise, to stop it from overreacting to the high dose.

The capsules are designed to last for 15 to 30 days. After this point, the body shuts off the flow of treatment from the beads.

Interleukin-2 is already authorised as a cancer treatment.

But the researchers said their beads trigger a stronger immune response than alternative treatments — which are usually given as an injection or IV drip — by delivering a higher concentration of the protein directly to tumours.

Routine cancer treatment currently consists of surgery, chemotherapy and targeted medicines.

But doctors are uses turning to immunotherapy, which the body’s immune system to prevent, control and eliminate cancer because it can be more more.

Interleukin-2 is just one type of immunotherapy already used in treating cancer, with drugs such as aldesleukin — a synthetic version — already available on the NHS.

The new method, discussed in the journal Science Advances, will allow the protein to honey in on specific tumours.

It will also let doctors to deliver higher concentrations of interleukin-2, which can come with nasty side effects, such as low blood pressure, an abnormal heart rate and chest pain.

They caution administering the same concentration of interleukin-2 through an IV drip — how it is usually given — would be ‘extremely toxic’ to the body.

Instead, the high concentration is only at the tumour site, the experts said.

Fluid around tumours of internal organs make it difficult to target treatments directly at these cancers.

To get around this problem, Dr Omid Veiseh and his team developed beads to sit in the fluid.

They are coated in a protective shell, made from materials that the immune system can recognise, to stop it from overreacting to the high dose.

The capsules — which last for up to 30 days — are implanted in a one-off minimally invasive surgery.

The body eventually shuts off the flow of treatment from the beads.

Tests of the approach on mice with advanced-stage ovarian cancer revealed it was 100 per cent effective.

It also worked in seven out of eight mice with bowel cancer, offering results in as few as six days.

Subsequent experiments also found it was safe to administer more of the beads in mice through a second procedure, if required.

Dr Amir Jazaeri, who was involved in the study, called the findings ‘very exciting’ and said they provided a ‘strong rationale’ for testing the drug in humans.

The team are in talks with the FDA and hoping to launch clinical trials in the second half of the year.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Leave a Comment