Researchers from the University of Turin demonstrated that combining shock waves with nanoparticles can help deliver chemotherapy to tumors in animal models. The team’s work was published in the journal, Endocrine-Related Cancer.
Researchers designed the treatment to use extracorporeal shock waves and nanobubbles to more effectively target the cancer drugs to the tumor site.
The team tested the approach on a mouse model of anaplastic thyroid cancer, which is very aggressive, rare and difficult to treat with conventional chemotherapy. A standard therapy for ATC does not exist and its only approved drug, doxorubicin, comes with painful side effects.
In this study, researchers found that doxorubicin-loaded nanobubbles combined with extracorporeal shock waves significantly reduced tumor volume compared to mice treated with just the nanobubbles, standard doxorubicin or nothing. The combo therapy also resulted in lower tumor weight, higher doxorubicin tumor content and more dying tumor cells, according to the team.
“This could be a feasible strategy for the treatment of this and other aggressive solid tumours in which standard chemotherapy remains the only option,” the study’s principal investigator said in prepared remarks. “Given the promising results of this preclinical study and the lack of a standard therapy for ATC, the next step will be conducting clinical trials with the hope of improving the cancer treatment and patient quality of life”.