Scientists find new options for colon cancer treatment

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Scientists from Texas A&M University have developed a low-cost, minimally invasive wireless device that offers precise, safe treatment options for colon cancer.

The research is published in Nature Communications and was conducted by Dr. Sung II Park et al.

For those diagnosed with colorectal cancer, surgery has been the only option that offers a solution.

Unfortunately, surgery is frequently complicated by disease recurrence at the site of original cancer when microscopic cancer cells are left behind at the time of surgery.

Chemotherapy is a treatment option that is often given in conjunction with surgery, although it can lead to toxic side effects.

In the study, the team has proposed a two-step procedure.

First, the photosensitizer drug (a drug activated by light) is administered, which is preferentially taken up by the tumor cells, and then the tumor is illuminated by non-thermal light at a wavelength that matches an absorption spectrum of the drug.

Activation of the drug induces a photochemical reaction that triggers tumor cell death.

The team will utilize photodynamic therapy (PDT) during surgery by using a photosensitizer——to kill the cancer cells.

During this process, surgeons will be able to remove the bulk of the tumor, then fully irradiate the tumor bed when the photosensitizer is activated by the light.

This combination would result in a complete treatment in a safe and effective way with no toxic side effects.

In the long term, the work will result in a platform that has the potential to provide clinical-quality health monitoring capabilities for continuous use beyond the confines of the traditional hospital or laboratory facilities.

it will also allow for treatment options to prevent the development of additional malignancy and therefore significantly improve the quality of life for people with cancer.

This type of platform would also reduce the huge economic burden on oncology resources, which totaled $167 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 alone.

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