4/20/16 Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of US cancer deaths. Researchers from MIT have created an implantable device that wraps around the pancreas and delivers drugs to fight pancreatic cancer cells. A study in mice has shown that this method is 12 times more effective than traditional intravenously injection chemo methods.
The device is made from flexible polymer PGLA. This thin film is curved into a tube and inserted into the body through a catheter for surgical implant. Due to its flexibility, it forms around the pancreas with the medicine being only on the inside of the film, which helps in administering the drug in a time released manner directly to the pancreas and minimizes any drug from seeping out onto other organs. The film could also be used as a stent coating reopening blocked bile ducts, a common issue pancreatic cancer patients suffer from.
The 5 year survival rate from pancreatic cancer is less than 6% due to it not being diagnosed in early stages and due to the hard to reach location of the pancreas. The MIT researchers are now gearing up for human clinical trials. This new creation looks very promising in combatting this hard to treat cancer!