New York: Researchers have developed a Novel biodegradable spray gel that prevents recurrence and metastasis of cancer after surgery. Cancer recurrence after surgical resection remains a significant cause of treatment failure. In major breakthrough researchers from the University of California have developed an immunotherapeutic bioresponsive gel that controls both local tumour recurrence after surgery and development of distant tumours.
Once the solution is sprayed on the surgical site, it quickly forms a gel embedded with the nanoparticles. The gel helps to stop at the surgical site and promotes wound healing; the nanoparticles gradually dissolve and release the anti-CD47 antibodies into the body. The study was published in in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Almost 95 percent of people with early-diagnosed breast cancer will require surgery and it is often the first line of treatment for people with brain tumors.
“Our findings indicate that the immunotherapeutic fibrin gel ‘awakens’ the host innate and adaptive immune systems to inhibit both local tumor recurrence post surgery and potential metastatic spread, said Zhen Gu, the lead author of the study.
The researchers tested the biodegradable spray gel in mice that had advanced melanoma tumors surgically removed.
The researchers loaded nanoparticles with an antibody specifically targeted to block CD47, a protein that cancer cells release as a “don’t-eat-me” signal.
After receiving the treatment, 50 percent of the mice survived for at least 60 days without their tumors regrowing. By blocking CD47, the antibody enables the immune system to find and ultimately destroy the cancer cells.
However, the scientists envision the gel is applied to the tumor resection site by surgeons immediately after the tumor is removed during surgery.
“We also learned that the gel could activate T cells in the immune system to get them to work together as another line of attack against lingering cancer cells,” said study author, Qian Chen.
The nanoparticles are made of calcium carbonate, a substance that is the main component of eggshells and is often found in rocks.