Treating cancer ‘with bubbles’ research

Treating cancer ‘with bubbles’ research

Using microbubbles to transport and target chemotherapy drugs could open up new possibilities for cancer treatment. Catz Fellow and Professor of Engineering Eleanor Stride has been working with a cross-disciplinary team from the University to explore the opportunities the possibilities of using this method to improve the effectiveness and of radiation and chemotherapies.

Eleanor is working with colleagues at the Old Road Campus in Oxford; Professor of Biophysics Boris Vojnovic and Professor of Experimental Clinical Oncology Anne Kiltie. With each member of the team specialising in a different area of biomedical science they are able to explore approaches to cancer treatment which may not have otherwise been obvious. They hope to find a way to deliver the treatment more efficiently while at the same time limiting the toxic side-effects when radiotherapy and chemotherapy are used in tandem.

The method being researched involves encapsulating the chemotherapy drugs in Eleanor’s microbubbles and delivering them through the bloodstream or by injection into the specific area of the body. The drugs are released near the tumour by ‘popping’ the bubbles using ultrasound waves. They are then supplemented by using targeted radiotherapy. It is hoped that such a targeted approach will limit the harmful side effects on healthy tissue in the same area.

If their early experiments prove to be successful the team will seek the possibility clinical trials on bladder cancer patients.