EMBOLISM - A NEW CANCER TREATMENT (PEOPLE CALL IT SMART BOMB)
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who devised the molecular size bomb (called smart anti-cancer bomb) tested it in mice with skin or lung cancer. Mice given the treatment lived more than three times longer than untreated rodents. Professor Ram Sasisekharan, of MIT's Biological Engineering Division believes it could have the same effect in humans.
The smart bomb uses nanotechnology which manipulates materials on a molecular or atomic scale, to deliver anti-cancer agents to destroy the tumour and anti-angiogenesis agents to block its blood supply.
After the bomb, which is like a balloon within a balloon, is injected into the bloodstream it travels to the tumour and burrows deep inside. The outer membrane then disintegrates and releases an anti-cancer agents so the blood vessels feeding the tumour collapse. It's an elegant technique for attacking the two compartments of a tumour, its vascular system and the cancer cells
This "drug delivery system" may be able to minimize the anti-cancer agents' side effects such as hair loss, vomiting, nausea and weight loss, as the drug bomb is injected into the blood vessel feeding the tumour cells. So, this drug delivery system is site-specific. Technically, this system should decrease toxicity (of the drugs) and increase efficacy.
In his study, 80% of the mice treated with the nanocell bomb lived longer than 65 days while rodents receiving the best chemotherapy lasted only 30. And, mice that had no treatment died at 20 days.
The concept of this technique is similar to what is called embolism. Here is one example shows how to use embolism to treat cancers.
Li H et al Sichuan University, China. encapsulated anticancer agent cisplatin with biodegradable and non-antigenic albumin. The cisplatin-loaded albumin microspheres, which were 56.3 microns in diameter, were used for treating 7 patients with squamous carcinoma of tongue by infusing through lingual artery. Concentration of the drug in peripheral venous blood increased to the highest level in 90 minutes after cisplatin-loaded albumin microspheres was infused through lingual arterial and still could be detected until 10th day. The cisplatin concentration in tumor tissue kept considerably stable and could be detected until 17 days. They concluded that cisplatin-loaded albumin microspheres had the effect of controlled release in vive. Effective and steady local drug concentration played the role of killing tumor cells, the low concentration in peripheral blood reduced the side effects of cisplatin to minimum as well. HOME References
Smart bomb drug zaps cancer cells in mice, Reuters, AlertNet, Jul 27, 2005
Study on drug release after arterial embolism with cisplain-loaded albumin microspheres in treating carcinoma of tongue. Hua Xi Kou Qiang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2003 Apr 20;21(2):112-3, 139.