NWO grant for ground breaking techniques against breast cancer
The CARES consortium, consisting of 4 Dutch universities and a combination of a drug delivery (Thermosome, Munich) and a medical device company (Sensius, Rotterdam), received a grant from NWO, the Dutch Research Council.
The grant funds ground breaking research to fight breast cancer more effectively based upon targeted drug delivery in the tumor area. The current state of science is to treat breast cancer with chemotherapy in combination with surgery. However, only 0,01% of the drug actually reaches the tumor, whilst there are serious systemic adverse effects. In this project it is the aim to get a drug concentration that is 15 times higher in the tumor and to lower the systemic adverse effects.
This is achieved by a combination of a drug encapsulating system consisting of thermosensitive liposomes and a thermotherapy device for heating the tumor; the drugs are released in the heated area. Thermosome supplies the encapsulating system. The thermotherapy device heats the tumor, whereby the lipids in the drug packaging are melting. Now the drug is released in the tumor. In addition, the heating of the tumor enhances the mechanism of chemotherapy.
The assumption is that the higher (local) drug dose, combined with the thermotherapy effects, will reduce the adverse effects as less drugs will be needed to get better outcomes. In addition, the need for breast amputation will be reduced which has positive effects on the patients and their family.
The consortium aims to have the treatment available in clinics by 2027. Have a look at the movie below, made by NWO, explaining this great project.