Philips working on microbubble technology for more targeted cancer treatment

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philips_microbubble_preparation.jpgPhilips is currently researching into a less invasive procedure for treating patients with cancer and other conditions, using drug-loaded microbubbles.

These bubbles are about the same size as red blood cells, and can be injected into a patient’s bloodstream and then tracked via ultrasound imaging.

Drugs would only be released once they reached the required place – a tumour growth, for example. Not only might this increase the effectiveness of the drug, but cut down on unpleasant side-effects.

Currently, Philips’ researchers have successfully constructed these microbubbles, which are coated in biodegradable material such as polylactic acid or galactose.

Though there’s some way to go yet, initial results look promising.

“More and more, patients are demanding treatment options that allow them to maintain their quality of life during the treatment regime, without sacrificing treatment efficacy,” said MD and chair of the department of radiology at the Methodist Hospital in Houston and professor of radiology, Weill Cornell Medical College (USA), King Li. “The non-invasive nature of ultrasound mediated delivery is a step in this direction. Work at our and other institutions using ultrasound for drug delivery and treatment guidance has shown the potential of this technology in pre-clinical studies.”

Philips Research (via Gizmo Watch)

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Andy Merrett