Targeting Cancer Cells

Ultrasound-guided drug delivery could improve chemotherapy treatment

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FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- A new method that uses ultrasound to deliver chemotherapy drugs to specific body areas affected by cancer could help reduce side effects and enhance the potency of anti-cancer drugs.

So says a study in the December issue of Cancer Research.

Brigham Young University researchers tested the new technique in laboratory animals. In this approach, a drug is packaged in tiny molecules of water-soluble plastic. That prevents the drug from interacting while passing through the bloodstream.

Ultrasound is then used to release the drug from the package once the package reaches the specific area of the body affected by cancer.

The tests using this method on laboratory animals produced significant reductions in tumor size, but it will be several years before this technique might be used on humans.

People with cancer who are being treated with chemotherapy often suffer painful side effects as the powerful chemotherapy drugs course though their bodies, damaging healthy tissue as well as tumors.

More information

The National Cancer Institute has more about chemotherapy.

SOURCE: Brigham Young University, news release, December 2002

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