Micro devices implanted inside tumors to generate oxygen boost the cancer-killing power of radiation and chemotherapy. The technology is designed to treat solid tumors that are hypoxic at the center, meaning the core contains low oxygen levels.
“This is not good because radiation therapy needs oxygen to be effective,” says Babak Ziaie, a Purdue University professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering. “So the hypoxic areas are hard to kill. Pancreatic and cervical cancers are notoriously hypoxic. If you generate oxygen you can increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy and also chemotherapy.”
Researchers have tested the devices in pancreatic tumors implanted in mice, showing they generated oxygen and shrunk tumors faster than tumors without the devices. The devices are slightly less than one centimeter long and are inserted into tumors with a hypodermic biopsy needle.
Full story at Futurity.
(Photo credit: Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University)