New Minimally Invasive Treatment for Colorectal Cancer Supplements Tumor Surgery
The success rate of surgery to remove colorectal cancer tumors is quite low, with tumors recurring in approximately 50 percent of patients. The low success rate is partially due to incomplete tumor removal, which allows remaining cancer cells to re-grow or spread.
Using chemotherapy as a follow-up to destroy residual cells is ineffective, with only about 0.7 percent of the drugs reaching the tumor site, according to one study. This treatment usually does more harm than good.
Now, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science are trying a more targeted delivery of therapy to the tumor site. Using a hydrogel patch, surgeons can target the tumor itself without damaging other parts of the body. Surgeons remove the tumor and then apply the patch directly to the removal site. The patch contains three treatments:
- Gold nanorods, which heat up when triggered by infrared radiation and destroy tumors
- A chemotherapy drug to further target the local area, destroying the tumor and cancer cells
- Gold nanospheres that deliver gene therapy to the site and prevent healthy cells from mutating into tumor cells
The researchers are also considering using the patch as an alternative to surgery. According to the paper, published in Nature Materials, doctors might be able to apply the patch to the tumor using colonoscopy equipment. The early application could shrink the tumor and eliminate cancer without surgical intervention.
Colorectal Cancer is Highly Fatal
Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer are often in the later stage of the disease due to the difficulty of identifying the tumor. If you can no longer work due to colorectal cancer or cancer treatment, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits.
For help recovering the disability benefits you need, call the Disability Help Group. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our disability advocates: 800-800-2009.