Brain tumors are one of the most challenging types of cancers to treat. Only 1 in 7 patients will survive the disease, and those survivors will usually suffer from lots of side effects because of their treatment.
Surgery is the most widely used treatment to remove the tumor in the brain. In benign tumors, surgery alone can cure the disease. But in malignant “cancer” and inoperable tumor cases, patients will need to have radiation or chemotherapy.
The problem with chemotherapy that it does not only kill the cancer cells but also affects the healthy cells around the tumor which causes a lot of unwanted side effects to patients which limits how much of the drug can be used and affect its effectiveness.
Therefore researchers are always trying to find new ways of treatment that could help eliminate the tumor with minimal side effects.
Researchers at the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre are trying to solve this, by inventing a new way of delivering the chemotherapy drug only to the tumor cells without affecting any healthy cells.
They use the famous chemotherapy drug temozolomide and modify it in such a way that it can travel through the body without causing any harm to the healthy cells as it remains inactive.
It only gets activated when it interacts with tiny metal beads from palladium metal that are inserted in the tumor area; then it can kill any tumor cells left.
This new therapy could hopefully treat more patients and eliminates the unwanted side effects.
Radiation beads and chemotherapy beads have also been used to treat cancer patients.