Sunday, November 22, 2015

New technology uses sound to kill pancreatic tumors

Ulster University's Professor John Callan
led the team of researchers who made the
pancreatic cancer breakthrough.
CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 22, 2015 – A new approach using sound waves to destroy cancer cells is showing promise for treating pancreatic cancer.

The treatment, called sonodynamic therapy (SDT) is the latest in a long line of approaches for delivering a toxic blow to cancer tumors without harming healthy tissues. 

In this approach researchers John Callan and Tony McHale at the Ulster University, and Eleanor Stride at Oxford University have developed tiny oxygen-filled micro bubbles, which have a non-active drug attached to the surface. The micro bubbles are injected into the pancreatic tumor and then exposed to sound waves, causing the bubbles to burst, releasing the oxygen and activating the drug.

In a press release the researchers say initial tests on the most common type of pancreatic tumor called Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC), have shown a five-fold reduction in tumor size. 

A note of caution, however, the results of their laboratory study have not yet been published in a peer reviewed journal, and they are exploring ways to bring the technology to a clinical trial.

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