A New Lung Cancer Treatment Could Be Breath of Fresh Air

June 6, 2013  |  Mesothelioma

Although lung cancer treatments involving chemotherapy have progressed over the years, they are often extremely toxic and invasive in nature. Traditional chemotherapy drugs that are prevalently used in treating lung cancer and mesothelioma can often produce severe side effects and organ damage. Researchers are continuously seeking to minimize the adverse effects of lung cancer treatments while maintaining or increasing the drugs’ effectiveness against the cancerous cells. Recently, a team of researchers from several colleges around the country may have found a way to do just that.

Researchers from the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Oregon State University and Rutgers University claim that they have created a new inhalation method of delivering chemo medications that could hopefully eliminate many of the toxic side effects associated with the drugs.

A report on the study details the new system of chemotherapy delivery for lung cancer patients. When administering the drug, a patient inhales nanoparticles that carry the drug directly to the lungs. By inhaling the medication, the treatment becomes more targeted without the damaging side effects.

According to Oleh Taratula, assistant professor at Oregon State University’s College of Pharmacy and one of the co-authors in the study, chemotherapy is vital to lung cancer treatment because lung cancer cells are typically not localized. Even so, severe side effects can occur through the conventional methods of administration. With this new inhalation method, doctors believe that the treatment could be much more efficient and much less dangerous for the cancer patient.

This is possible because the nanoparticles will carry a small interfering RNA, a molecule that helps to suppress specific genes that make cancer cells more susceptible. It does so by eliminating pump resistance, where the medication is ejected from the interior of the cancer cell, and non-pump resistance, which keeps the cancer cell alive.

Traditional methods of administering chemotherapy will often build up in the liver, kidneys and spleen before even having a chance to affect the cancer cells. In fact, only 23 percent of the drug is able to reach the cancerous area under the current intravenous method of deliver according to the study. When inhaled, however, 83 percent of the drug is able to reach the lungs with far less damage to any internal organs.

Currently, the inhalation trials have only been administered in animal testing. Further research is required before human testing can begin. Still, the report represents a landmark step in the way we might be better able to treat lung cancer and mesothelioma patients in the future.

The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd is thrilled to report this potential breakthrough in how lung cancer and mesothelioma is treated. For over 35 years, the law firm has been working with asbestos patients and knows that the medical field has a long way to go when it comes to effective cancer treatments. The firm is an avid supporter of several medical groups including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and will continue to report on the latest medical advancements.

For more on Baron and Budd, visit here.

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