Implant Blocks Spread of Cancer in Mice
Researchers from Northwestern University have successfully stopped the spread of early cancerous cells in mice by using a small implant device.
The researchers created a biomaterial implant that identifies and captures metastatic – circulating cancer cells. Next, they used an imaging technique called inverse spectroscopic optical coherence tomography (ISOCT) to distinguish healthy cells from cancerous cells that have been captured by the implant.
Cancer patients are much more likely to survive the disease if circulating cancer cells are spotted early, before they have spread to other organs.
The implant was tested on eight mice with metastatic breast cancer. Two implants about 5mm in diameter were implanted either under the skin or into the abdominal fat of each mouse.
The findings, published in Nature Communications, revealed that the implants successfully captured metastatic cancer cells, reducing the number of cells in the bloodstream and thus reducing the likelihood of tumors spreading.
While the research with the implant so far has been conducted only on mice, the scientists believe it has potential as a cancer treatment for humans.
This Week's Slice of History: 1st U.S. Incubator Baby: Sept, 7, 1888