Implantable Drug Delivery System offers New Approach for Cancer Treatment

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Implantable drug delivery system activated by the acidic environment surrounding a tumor can provide efficient mode of drug release without harming healthy tissues.

The study led by Dr. Horst A. von Recum from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio, reported that an implantable local delivery system, can be used for drug delivery by activating the acidic environment surrounding a tumor, which provide precise drug release to the target area. The study was published in Experimental Biology and Medicine in March, 2017. The new discovery can be used as a new drug delivery system for cancer treatment.

In cancer care treatment, patients receive drugs intravenously. The amount of drug administered and the time the patient receives the drug should be reduced to prevent damage to normal tissues. Using this method very less cancer cells are killed and some effective cancer drugs cannot be used due to their toxicity to normal tissues. Alternate drug delivery systems can minimize damage to normal tissues without decreasing drug efficiency. However, most of drug delivery system do not provide the sustained release required for inactivation of tumor cells.

In this study, Dr. von Recum and colleagues, reported that a modified form of doxorubicin, which is activated in the slightly acidic environment surrounding cancerous tumors was capable of releasing doxorubicin at the tumor site for 40 days. Slight release of active drug was observed in the healthy tissues. Furthermore, the effectiveness of this modified form of doxorubicin was equivalent to the unmodified drug.

According to Implantable Drug Delivery Devices Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, recent discovery and developments in genomics, proteomics and biotechnology have led to emerging classes of novel pharmaceutical compounds such siRNAs, small molecules and other nanoparticle based products that are not compatible with standard oral formulations.  This system efficiently delivered the drug for a substantially longer time period than other pH sensitive doxorubicin delivery systems. Dr. von Recum said “we feel that this is a new lease on the life of doxorubicin, a great anti-cancer drug, since the total contained dose is far lower than that used systemically, and well below the toxicity threshold of the heart.”


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