New Technologies to Treat Cancer

Anatomy of the biliary tree, liver and gall bl...
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By 2015 there is going to be a better treatment than chemotherapy in treating the deadly disease the Liver Cancer.

Instead of the Chemotherapy and it’s awful side effects, the new treatment can help shrinking the tumors but with much less side effects and also the patient will stay hospitalized for only one day instead of four days hospitalizing in the usual chemotherapy.

In chemotherapy the patient is injected with high doses of chemicals  into the artery that feed the tumor, but of course the blood carry it to all the body cells, it is also very painful.

The new method “QuadraSphere”, it is a plastic bead made out of a sodium acrylate and vinyl alcohol polymer that soaks up drugs and slowly releases them. As the chemotherapy the QuadraSpheres are injected into an artery close to the tumor. The microscopic beads block the nearby capillaries, starving the tumor and preventing the drugs from escaping elsewhere into the body. It is also worth mentioning that QuadraSpheres allow patients to go home the same day, it is also less painful. That is a research that has been done in Vancouver General Hospital.

Another hope is coming through nanotechnology by researchers of Penn State College of Medicine.

They used molecular-sized bubbles filled with chemotherapy drugs to prevent cell growth and initiate cell death in test tubes and mice.

Researchers evaluated the use of molecular-sized bubbles filled with C6-ceramide, called cerasomes, as an anti-cancer agent. Ceramide is a lipid molecule naturally present in the cell’s plasma membrane and controls cell functions, including cell aging, or senescence.

Hepatocellular carcinoma is the fifth most common cancer in the world and is highly aggressive. The chance of surviving five years is less than five percent, and treatment is typically chemotherapy and surgical management including transplantation.
Cerasomes, developed at Penn State College of Medicine, can target cancer cells very specifically and accurately, rather than affecting a larger area that includes healthy cells. The problem with ceramide is that as a lipid, it cannot be delivered effectively as a drug. To solve this limitation, the researchers use nanotechnology, creating the tiny cerasome, to turn the insoluble lipid into a soluble treatment.

In the test tube and animal models of liver cancer, cerasomes, but not a placebo, selectively induced cell death in the cancer cells.

In mice with liver cancer, cerasomes blocked tumor vascularisation, the forming of blood vessels needed for growth and nutrition. Studies show that lack of nutrition causes cells to create more ceramide and leads to cell death.

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