A treatment produced by US researchers can eliminate late-stage cancer tumours in mice in as little as six days.
The treatment is packaged within a small bead, the size of a pinhead, and was implanted under the skin of mice with advanced ovarian or colorectal cancer, where it continually produced and released interleukin-2, a protein used by the immune system to fight disease.
In results published in Science Advances, the team at Rice University, Houston, Texas, showed that tumours present in the mice disappeared completely within a few days of implanting the ‘drug factory’.
There were also minimal side effects as the drug remains in the area of the tumour rather than being injected around the whole body.
“We demonstrated that the ‘drug factories’ allow regulatable local administration of interleukin-2 and eradication of tumour in several mouse models, which is very exciting.” said Dr Amir Jazaeri, co-author of the study, who hopes to take it to clinical testing.