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Lab Reports
June 2, 2015

New Drug Delivery Technologies May Advance Personalized Cancer Therapy

JAMA. 2015;313(21):2114. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5670

Two newly developed technologies that deliver cancer drugs directly into cancerous tumors may help clinicians quickly and accurately determine a particular tumor’s sensitivity to a range of therapies.

One technique relies on an implantable 3 mm–long cylindrical microdevice containing reservoirs that can hold 16 different drugs or drug combinations (Jonas O et al. Sci Transl Med. 2015;7[284]:284ra57). Investigators at Massachusetts Institute of Technology implanted the device into tumors in several different mouse models of cancer, where it passively released drugs into nonoverlapping regions of cancerous tissue 200 to 300 μm in diameter. Next, the researchers removed the device after 24 hours and analyzed the tumor tissue for drug sensitivity through the use of antibodies that can detect markers of cell death or proliferation. The investigators found that the local drug response was similar to the response that occurred after systemic injection.