Simulation Technique Lends Hope to Promising Anti-Cancer Treatment

A novel approach looks to provide researchers with the tools to make accurate and safe predictions for cancer patients.

A novel lab technique may aid the success and development of a promising anti-cancer treatment called drug-eluting bead technologies, according to findings published in the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The role of polymer beads, which are injected into arteries that feed a tumor, is to block the blood flow and cut off the oxygen and nutrients supply. Furthermore, these beads carry cancer drugs directly to the tumor to help lessen side effects.

However, researchers were in need of a safe way to predict what would happen in the human body if these drug-eluting beads were modified. In the new study, researchers came up with a method to do just this.

“There was no lab mimic that was able to adequately predict how the drug was released from these drug-eluting beads once they were in the body,” said study co-author Laura Waters. “The article describes a way of doing it in the lab. We compared our results with in vivo data and proved that the method worked.”

For the study, researchers used a simulation technique in the lab involving a buffer that was pumped at different rates through the beads. They also modified the quantities of the drug that were inside the beads.

The results of the study allowed researchers to establish the validity of their technique by comparing their results found in the lab with in vivo data.

“We are continually innovating our drug-eluting bead technologies to introduce new features, such as X-ray visibility or biodegradability,” said researcher Andy Lewis. “It’s important from a product development perspective that if we wanted to put other drugs into the beads, or change anything about their chemistry, we could use this system to predict product behavior before it is given to people.”