Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and fatal form of cancer that has proven to be frustratingly resistant to the treatment protocols that work in other forms of cancer. The disease has several factors that make it more difficult to treat, including the fact that it is rarely diagnosed before it is in its later stages. In light of this, medical researchers are constantly testing new approaches to find a way to counter the disease. Now a group of physicians from the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital have successfully used nanoparticle delivery of the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel (Taxol) to improve survival in patients with pleural mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Researchers Test of Expansile Nanoparticle Delivers Positive Results
The use of paclitaxel has previously been tested in mesothelioma patients, but this study examined a state-of-the-art method of delivering the anti-tumor drug. It made use of a new technology known as expansile nanoparticles, which undergo a transformation within the body that makes them swell to fill the target area, then rapidly release their contents.
The group tested the technology on two different models of malignant pleural mesothelioma. In both cases human mesothelioma cells were injected into the thoracic cavity of mice so that the deadly tumors could grow within their bodies. The animals were then separated into those who were identified as being at an early stage of limited disease, and which would receive chemotherapy via the nanoparticles, and those that had advanced disease and would receive both cytoreductive surgery and the nanoparticle-delivered chemotherapy.
Positive Results From Nanoparticle Testing
The researchers evaluated the impact of the nanoparticles in both groups by comparing the innovative technology’s results against standard delivery of paclitaxel, as well as the use of nanoparticles that had not been loaded with the chemotherapy drug. What they determined was that the nanoparticle delivery of paclitaxel more than doubled survival. The group hopes to build on this discovery and move forward to testing on human subjects in the future.
Innovations in medical technology bring us closer to a cure for mesothelioma every day. If you have been diagnosed with this rare and deadly form of cancer and need information on treatment and other resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.