Friday December 13, 2019

Fast-Acting Skin Patch that Efficiently Delivers Medication to Attack Cells in Skin Cancer

While syringes are an effective drug delivery mode, they can be painful

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Cancer, Treatment, Chemotherapy, Tiny Bubbles, Research
"What we've done is improve a therapeutic approach to delivering enzyme-producing genes that can convert certain drugs into toxic agents and target tumours." Pixabay

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a fast-acting skin patch that efficiently delivers medication to attack cells in melanoma – a deadly form of skin cancer.

Topical ointments can impart medications to the skin, but they can only penetrate a small distance through it.

While syringes are an effective drug delivery mode, they can be painful. Syringes can also be inconvenient for patients, leading to non-compliance.

“Our patch has a unique chemical coating and mode of action that allows it to be applied and removed from the skin in just a minute while still delivering a therapeutic dose of drugs,” says Yanpu He, a graduate student who helped develop the device.

Skin, Patch, Cancer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a fast-acting skin patch that efficiently delivers medication to attack cells in melanoma – a deadly form of skin cancer. Pixabay

The researchers believe that the skin patch, tested in mice and human skin samples, is an advance toward developing a vaccine to treat melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.

“Our patches elicit a robust antibody response in living mice and show promise in eliciting a strong immune response in human skin,” He said.

Using chicken ovalbumin as a model antigen, the team vaccinated mice with their patches, and compared the results with intramuscular and subcutaneous injections.

The microneedle treatment produced nine times the antibody level compared to intramuscular injections (used for flu shots) and 160 times the antibody level compared to subcutaneous injections (used for measles vaccines). They also saw efficient immune activation in surgical samples of human skin.

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“Our patch technology could be used to deliver vaccines to combat different infectious diseases,” said Paula T. Hammond from MIT.

“But we are excited by the possibility that the patch is another tool in the oncologists’ arsenal against cancer, specifically melanoma,” Hammond said.

The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2019 National Meeting and Exposition being held in San Diego, California, from August 25-29. (IANS)

Next Story

Light Alcohol Consumption Might Also Increase Cancer Risk: Study

The researchers found an almost linear association between cancer risk and alcohol consumption

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Alcohol
A light level of Alcohol Consumption at 10-drink-year point, for example, one drink per day for 10 years or two drinks per day for five years would increase cancer risk by five per cent, the findings showed. Pixabay

If you thought one-two drinks a day would not do any harm, think again. Researchers in Japan have found that even light Alcohol consumption might increase the cancer risk.

In the study published in the journal Cancer, the overall cancer risk appeared to be the lowest at zero alcohol consumption. The elevated risk appeared to be explained by alcohol-related cancer risk across relatively common sites, including the colorectum, stomach, breast, prostate and esophagus.

“In Japan, the primary cause of death is cancer,” said one of the researchers Masayoshi Zaitsu from The University of Tokyo. “Given the current burden of overall cancer incidence, we should further encourage promoting public education about alcohol-related cancer risk,” Zaitsu said.

The team examined clinical data on 63,232 patients with cancer and 63,232 controls matched for sex, age, hospital admission date, and admitting hospital. The data was gathered from 33 general hospitals in Japan.

All participants reported their average daily amount of standardised alcohol units and the duration of drinking.

One standardised drink containing 23 grams of ethanol was equivalent to one 180-ml cup of Japanese sake, one 500-ml bottle of beer, one 180-ml glass of wine, or one 60-ml cup of whiskey.

Alcohol
If you thought one-two drinks a day would not do any harm, think again. Researchers in Japan have found that even light Alcohol consumption might increase the cancer risk. Pixabay

The researchers found an almost linear association between cancer risk and alcohol consumption.

A light level of drinking at 10-drink-year point, for example, one drink per day for 10 years or two drinks per day for five years would increase cancer risk by five per cent, the findings showed.

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Those who drank two or fewer drinks a day had an elevated cancer risk regardless of how long they had consumed alcohol. Also, analyses classified by sex, drinking/smoking behaviours and occupational class mostly showed the same patterns. (IANS)