Pancreatic cancer is a disease that requires high doses of highly toxic drugs, which causes a large number of side effects from treatment. Scientists have proposed a new approach in the treatment of tumors at this location, which will significantly reduce the negative effect of medicines.
A team of scientists from the University of North Carolina has created a device that delivers highly toxic types of drugs directly to the site of the pancreas tumor.
Jen Jen Yeh, MD, a leading specialist of the oncology center, professor of pharmacology at the School of Medicine, said that specialists in the future plan using this device to treat patients with pancreatic tumors using the FOLFIRINOX protocol. She noted that this combination of chemotherapeutic drugs can shrink a tumor or stop its growth in a third of patients. This drug "cocktail" shows high efficiency, however, it was not suitable for everyone because of its strong toxicity.
The new device will solve this problem, since it limits the toxicity of the drug and its entry into the bloodstream, delivering drugs directly to the site of the tumor. The device has already passed the test in laboratory mice, which was considered successful.
Scientists have noticed that the prospect of stopping tumor growth will allow surgeons to provide operational assistance to a greater number of patients. Currently, according to doctors, only 15% of patients can be operated on for the diagnosis of a pancreatic tumor.
The discovery was largely based on the results of a study published last year in the journal Science Translational Medicine. It was reported that a team of scientists for the first time showed in animal models that the device could be implanted in the upper part of the pancreas to increase the amount of gemcitabine. The tumors stopped growing and shrunk, providing more favorable conditions for removing the tumor and treating the disease.
This discovery was perceived as a major breakthrough in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, characterized by a mortality rate of 75% within a year after diagnosis. According to scientists, this statistic has not changed in more than 40 years.