Tiny implants eradicate tumors in mice

Scientists have been able to stop advanced stages of cancer in mice using implanted ‘drug factories’, which took only a few days to be effective.

Published in the journal for clinical cancer research, the promising results mark an important milestone in curing mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer. The treatment has yet to be tested out on humans to test its effectiveness.

The drug factories are comprised of tiny beads of alginate, which produce blasts of interleukin-2, activating the body’s white blood cells to help fight tumours. The treatment works like immunotherapy to help clear out residual diseases, which can form tissue layers on the lungs.

An inhibitor targeting the PD-1 protein was also used, which helps train the immune system to identify better and eliminate cancer cells.

The treatment was able to successfully wipe out tumours in more than half of the mice involved in the trials, while with the addition of an inhibitor, the tumours were completely cured.

Scientists are confident that this treatment could effectively train the memory T cells in the body to fight mesothelioma again. Similar treatments are being used to devise cures for ovarian cancer, of which trials will begin in the coming few months.

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