30 May 2023

Grain-sized implant

A tiny implant reduces the effective dose of drugs in adenocarcinoma immunotherapy and avoids the side effects of treatment.

Bioengineers at Houston Methodist Research Center have developed an implantable device to treat pancreatic cancer. The nanofluidic device is smaller than a grain of rice and delivers monoclonal antibodies directly to the tumor.
The NDES device consists of a stainless steel drug reservoir containing nanochannels. This technology creates a membrane that allows sustained diffusion as the drug is released. Scientists place the implant inside the tumor, which enables the gradual release of small doses of monoclonal antibody agonists CD40, an anti-tumor immunotherapy agent.

In the study, scientists implanted NDES into laboratory mice with pancreatic cancer. The result was tumor shrinkage at a dose four times lower than that of traditional systemic immunotherapy treatment. In addition, the introduction of the implant into only one of the two tumors resulted in the shrinkage of both.

Adenocarcinoma of pancreatic ducts is one of the most aggressive and difficult-to-cure types of cancer. It is often diagnosed in its late stages. In fact, about 85% of patients already have metastases at the time of diagnosis.

Immunotherapy holds the promise of treating cancers for which there were previously no good options. But because traditional immunotherapy is delivered throughout the body, it causes many side effects that sometimes persist for a long time, if not a lifetime. By focusing delivery directly to the tumor, the body can be protected from toxic effects, scientists say.

Source: Sustained Intratumoral Administration of Agonist CD40 Antibody Overcomes Immunosuppressive Tumor Microenvironment in Pancreatic Cancer - Liu - 2023 - Advanced Science - Wiley Online Library
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