In mice, device destroyed colorectal tumors and prevented remission after surgery
Approximately one in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime, making it the third-most prevalent form of the disease in the U.S. In Europe, it is the second-most common form of cancer.
The most widely used first line of treatment is surgery, but this can result in incomplete removal of the tumor. Cancer cells can be left behind, potentially leading to recurrence and increased risk of metastasis. Indeed, while many patients remain cancer-free for months or even years after surgery, tumors are known to recur in up to 50 percent of cases.
Conventional therapies used to prevent tumors recurring after surgery do not sufficiently differentiate between healthy and cancerous cells, leading to serious side effects.
In a paper published today in the journal Nature Materials, researchers at MIT describe an adhesive patch that can stick to the tumor site, either before or after surgery, to deliver a triple-combination of drug, gene, and photo (light-based) therapy.
New drug-delivery approach holds potential for treating obesity
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed nanoparticles that can deliver antiobesity drugs directly to fat tissue. Overweight mice treated with these nanoparticles lost 10 percent of their body weight over 25 days, without showing any negative side effects.
The drugs work by transforming white adipose tissue, which is made of fat-storing cells, into brown adipose tissue, which burns fat. The drugs also stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in fat tissue, which positively reinforces the nanoparticle targeting and aids in the white-to-brown transformation.
These drugs, which are not FDA-approved to treat obesity, are not new, but the research team developed a new way to deliver them so that they accumulate in fatty tissues, helping to avoid unwanted side effects in other parts of the body.
“The advantage here is now you have a way of targeting it to a particular area and not giving the body systemic effects. You can get the positive effects that you’d want in terms of antiobesity but not the negative ones that sometimes occur,” says Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH, “The Brigham”) is the largest hospital of the Longwood Medical and Academic Area in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
It is Harvard Medical School’s second largest teaching affiliate with 793 beds. With Massachusetts General Hospital, it is one of the two founding members of Partners HealthCare, the largest healthcare provider in Massachusetts.
In 2009 the BWH Biomedical Research Institute (BRI) received $485 million in research support from all sources. For over a decade, it has been one of the two hospitals receiving the most National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among independent hospitals in the United States. It employs over 3,300 researchers.
BRI has worked on regenerative medicine, designing nanoparticles to attack different types of cancer, and starting a clinical trial for a type of Alzheimer’s disease vaccine. BWH research also includes population studies including the Nurses’ Health Study and Physicians’ Health Study.
The Latest Updated Research News:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital research articles from Innovation Toronto
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- New Biosensing Platform Could Quickly and Accurately Diagnose Disease and Monitor Treatment Remotely – April 4, 2015
- Keeping Atherosclerosis in-check with Novel Targeted Inflammation-Resolving Nanomedicines – March 1, 2015
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New tablet attaches to the lining of the GI tract, resists being pulled away
Researchers have created a new type of dual-sided pill that attaches to the gastrointestinal tract. The tablet is engineered so that one side adheres to tissue, while the other repels food and liquids that would otherwise pull it away from the attachment site. Such extended-release pills could be used to reduce the dosage frequency of some drugs, the researchers say.