technology Discover Breakthrough for Breast Cancer Drug Delivery -->
ENP Newswire -
Release date- 01112013 -
Approximately 25% of all breast cancer patients have human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), a specific type of cancerous cell identified in this study that is considered aggressive because it spreads quickly and has a low survival rate.
Treatment of breast cancer varies according to the size, stage and rate of growth, as well as the type of tumor. There are currently three main categories of post-surgery therapies available: hormone blocking therapy, chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) therapy.
In the case of antibodies, the drugs are paired with saline and delivered intravenously into the body. Targeting specific cells or proteins, the antibodies block specific cell receptors to destroy cancer cells and suppress tumor growth. However, these drugs are absorbed in the body and have limited lifetimes and effectiveness when injected directly into the bloodstream.
It also exhibits many of the biocompatible characteristics of water-soluble polymers, which hold form in the body without completely dissolving. This allows the hydrogel to function as a depot for the drug to slow-release its contents in a targeted location directly at the tumor site over weeks instead of days. Once the drug has been delivered, the hydrogel biodegrades naturally and passes through the body.
'Drawing from our experience in materials innovation for electronics technology, we are now applying these techniques to the quest for improved health,' said Dr.
In animal studies done by Singapore's IBN, testing demonstrated improved results when the antibody was paired and delivered with the hydrogel, even at low concentration, than on its own.
Tumor Size: Over the course of 28 days, the tumor shrank 77% when paired with the hydrogel via subcutaneous injection at the tumor site as opposed to 0% without it by intravenous injection. Treatment Frequency: When paired with the hydrogel and injected subcutaneously at a site far away from the tumor, the treatment frequency was reduced from 4 to 1 while maintaining a similar therapeutic effect. This is when compared to just the antibody solution formulation injected intravenously, Weight: The ability to target and deliver the drug directly at the tumor site allowed for only the infected cells to be eradicated, leaving healthy cells alone. This resulted in stable to moderate weight gain during the study instead of massive weight loss traditionally associated with cancer drug treatments. Non-Toxic: Since the hydrogel is non-toxic, it demonstrated high biocompatibility as evidenced by no cellular inflammation with minimal immune system response while degrading naturally and passing through the body within 6 weeks. 'We have developed new, effective materials for nanomedicine, which has been one of IBN's key research focus areas since 2003. The sustained delivery of Herceptin from our hydrogel provides greater anti-tumor efficacy and reduces injection frequency. Thus, our approach may help to improve patient compliance, offering a better alternative to existing breast cancer treatments. This technology can also be used to deliver other types of antibodies or proteins to treat different diseases,' said Dr.
The full research paper was published today in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Functional Materials DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201301307.
Contact(s) informationChristine Vu
IBM Media Relations
IBM Media Relations
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