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New Methods of Delivering Medication Showing Promise

There are a number of different ways that medication can be delivered to the body, and often the preferred methodology is based on the illness itself. Though taking tablets, capsules or liquids orally is probably the most common dosing method, some medicines are more effectively delivered via needle, others can be administered using suppositories, and others require direct exposure to diseased tissue intraoperatively.

Studies are currently being conducted on two new methods of delivering mesothelioma medications, with each one showing promise. In the United States, researchers from Oregon State University are working with others from Rutgers University and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey to develop a delivery method that would allow chemotherapy medications to be delivered through an inhaler. The theory behind this is that it would be much less invasive and easier to tolerate than traditional methods of delivering chemo, which often has negative side effects because the medication is delivered throughout the body.  Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells but are often toxic to other areas of the body. The new therapy would involve the use of nanoparticles which would deliver the medication in particles that are smaller than dust. They can easily be inhaled and attach to the cancerous cells within the linings of the lung, where mesothelioma has the most impact.

In another study being conducted in Australia at Griffith University is focusing on a unique delivery system that uses medication that would be rubbed into the skin or absorbed through a transdermal patch. The drug itself is designed to target the mitochondria of mesothelioma cells – mitochondria are the parts of cells that create the energy that keeps a cell operating. By targeting these powerhouses specifically in mesothelioma cells, it is hoped that the medication would kill only the cancer cells and leave other, healthier cells untouched.

The delivery of the medication via the skin is unique, and it is possible to use it with this particular medication because the drug’s molecules need to be so small in order to simply target mitochondria. The advantages of a skin delivery system are many, but most notably it allows patients to administer their dosages for themselves rather than requiring constant doctor visits or trips to the hospital.  The medication has been tested on animals so far, and has just received approval to enter the clinical drug trial phase.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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