Researchers at MIT have published a paper about an adhesive hydrogel patch that could be used in the treatment of colorectal tumors after surgery.
Surgery is often the first treatment used in cases of colorectal cancer. However, the surgery doesn’t always remove the entire tumor and cancer cells can be left behind, which could result in recurrence or an increased risk of metastasis.
The patch in question adheres at the site of the tumor, pre- or postsurgery, and delivers a combo of drug, gene and light-based therapy.
Natalie Artzi, a principal research scientist at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, said that this combination, when released locally, could increase the efficacy of treatment. The patch could also eliminate some side effects that come along with systemic, or whole-body, therapies like chemotherapy.
In addition to systemic therapies causing excess damage to unaffected areas of the body, the treatment itself tends to be less effective, as only a portion of the drug reaches the tumor site. MIT News noted that research found that in mice, only 0.7% of nanoparticles administered systemically reached the target tumor.