Image: New clinical trials of a new experimental cancer treatment make use of microscopic beads loaded with a targeted cancer drug that are visible on a CT scan (Photo courtesy of iStock).
Researchers in the US have begun clinical trials of a new experimental cancer treatment that makes use of microscopic beads loaded with a targeted cancer drug, that are visible on a Computed Tomography (CT) scan.
The goal of the Vandetanib-Eluting Radiopaque Beads in Patients with Resectable Liver Malignancies (VEROnA) trial is to evaluate delivering a precisely controlled dose of the drug into the arteries that feed a liver tumor, and to improve treatments for metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC), and primary-liver cancer patients.
The technique was developed by researchers from the University College London Cancer Institute (UCL; London, UK), and BTG (London, UK), a specialist healthcare company, and is intended for treating liver-cancer patients. The technique makes use of microscopic radiopaque beads loaded with a targeted anti-cancer drug called vandetanib, which are placed directly into the liver.
Primary investigator of the study, professor Ricky Sharma, at University College London, said, "The incidence and mortality rates for primary liver cancer continue to climb and it is vital that we explore new treatment approaches. This research is exciting because it is the first time we have been able to pre-load a targeted cancer drug on to an imageable bead, to deliver the targeted drug in high doses to the cancer and see exactly how well the beads reach the target we have defined. By refining the treatment using information from this clinical trial, we may be able to develop a liver-directed treatment as a superior alternative to the rather poorly tolerated drug treatments we currently offer patients with this type of cancer."
University College London Cancer Institute