Treatment of malignant liver tumors, as a rule, involves surgery. A new technique developed by scientists at the University of Illinois allows for the possibility of avoiding it. The role of a surgical scalpel in it is assigned to nanobubbles filled with an anticancer drug, which, having made their way into the tumor, burst at the right time, destroying it from the inside.
To do this, the scientists decided to use the drug targetin (bexarotene), which has shown high efficacy in the treatment of cutaneous T lymphoma, a type of cancer of the immune system. Researchers needed to adapt it to fight other tumors.
However, it is not enough to fill the nanobubbles with the drug. It was necessary to achieve that they would "work" in time inside the tumor. At the stage of the experiments, the bubbles were introduced into the pig's liver using a flexible catheter. After the bubbles were in the right place, they were initiated by the action of ultrasound - they burst, releasing the drug.
The results of the experiment were reported by the leading researcher of the University, Dipanyan Pan:
"Researching the mechanism of drug screening in porcine liver will help us adapt the new treatment to humans over time."