In laboratory testing, MEPS-II microcapsules containing anticancer drugs were injected directly into a human prostate and lung tumors in animal models. These models were then, in follow on tests, also injected following the delivery of specific cryo-surgical effects, similar to a freeze and thaw effect on the tumorous tissues. Injecting the microcapsules directly into the tumor demonstrated improved site-specific therapeutic results and the inhibition of tumor growth. Following cryo-surgery, the microcapsules demonstrated improved destruction of the tumor better than freezing or local chemotherapy alone.
Though Morrison's previous laboratory studies of microcapsules were primarily focused on prostate and lung cancer, his studies now target breast cancer for the FDA approval process. Though it will take a few years to get approval to use the microcapsules as a treatment option filled with anti-tumor drug therapies, several devices that will aid in drug delivery are planned for pre-clinical study as early as next year. NuVue's ultrasound-enhanced needles and the imaging marker microcapsules, which do not contain drugs, can be combined for use within the cancer patient.
After achieving full FDA approval, planned clinical trials will involve injecting the microcapsules with the anti-tumor drugs directly into tumor sites in humans at both MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the Mayo Cancer Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. Given the success in animal models in laboratory studies with human prostate and lung tumor treatment, Morrison has high hopes in the near future, of being able to begin use of the microcapsule treatment in breast cancer.
As stipulated by Morrison and the NuVue research team, "these technologies were only able to come to fruition because of the availability of the microgravity environment aboard the space station. Without it, this innovative breakthrough involvin
|Contact: Laura Niles|
NASA/Johnson Space Center