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.