Implanted “Drug Factories” Successfully Treat Mice with Mesothelioma


ScienceAlert recently published an article explaining how scientists at Rice University have been able to eradicate tumors in mice by using a new treatment that takes less than a week to be effective.

All indications are that there is now a powerful new method of tackling cancer, including aggressive forms of the disease such as mesothelioma. The treatment involves the use of implanted “drug factories” the size of a pinhead, which are minute natural alginate beads commonly used for biomedical applications. The “drug factories” continuously blast the cancer with interleukin-2 and are designed to trigger tumor-fighting white blood cells.

Thoracic surgeon Dr. Bryan Burt at Baylor College treats mesothelioma, a cancer located on the lining of the lungs. Dr. Burt indicated that the disease cannot be completely cured through surgery. Residual diseases are often missed. Yet treating the tissue that covers the lungs (the pleural space) where mesothelioma usually begins, is the most effective way to treat the disease.

Checkpoint inhibitors were also combined with the implants. Checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that do not target cancer directly. Instead, they train our immune system to identify and then kill the cancer cells. In this instance, a checkpoint inhibitor was used that targets the protein PD-1.

About The Drug Factory

The tumors were wiped out in over half the animals used in the test. But when they were combined with checkpoint inhibitors, the tumors on all seven mice were completely demolished. Also, the scientists are confident that memory T-cells could be effectively trained to target mesothelioma if it reoccurs.

Although the efficacy of IL-2 has been proven, the downside is the significant adverse side effects. To some extent, however, the side effects are mitigated by targeting only malignant areas in the body.

Previously, the researchers used the drug factory process against ovarian cancer. Assuming continued success, the researchers intend to begin clinical trials against ovarian cancer with human participants in the near future.

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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