Can PharmaCyte’s “Cell-in-a-Box” be a Breakthrough for Pancreatic Cancer?

According to a story from Newsfile, the biotechnology company PharmaCyte is beginning to turn heads with the potential of its proprietary Cell-in-a-Box technology that has the potential to greatly improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. This could have implications for treating a diverse array of cancers, but particular attention is being focused on pancreatic cancer, which is notoriously difficult to treat effectively. 

About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer. The disease affects the pancreas, which is a glandular organ that is situated behind the stomach. Part of the reason that pancreatic cancer is so dangerous is that it rarely produces noticeable symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage and begun to spread. However, even when detected earlier, it is difficult to treat effectively. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include being male, old age, African-American ancestry, family history, smoking, obesity, diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, and a diet heavy in red meat, processed meat, or meat cooked at very high temperatures. Symptoms include depression, upper abdominal pain, jaundice, diabetes, constipation, weight loss, and appetite loss. Treatment approaches for this cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Even with heavy treatment, pancreatic cancer almost always returns. The five year survival rate is just five percent. To learn more about pancreatic cancer, click here.

About Cell-in-a-Box

Currently, Cell-in-a-Box is currently awaiting testing in a phase 2b clinical study. In prior trials, the technology has shown some potential in treating pancreatic cancer. Cell-in-a-Box aims to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. The primary method is by delivering therapy in closely proximity to the cancer tumor. Typically, chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, meaning that the drugs are circulated throughout the body. This has two weaknesses. First and foremost, this exposes the drug to the entire body, increasing the impact of adverse side effects. In addition, the brief half-life of many chemo agents means that they actually lose potency by the time they reach the tumor, reducing their effectiveness.

Cell-in-a-Box refers to a cluster of live, genetically engineered cells that are enclosed in a protective capsule. These cells are programmed to transform “prodrug” forms of chemotherapy agents into their active therapeutic form once they reach the proximity of the cancer. This significantly improves the potency of the treatment.

Cell-in-a-Box also has the potential to have applications beyond cancer treatment.

Follow us