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Philips aims to reduce cancer treatment side effects with drug-loaded microbubbles

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
October 6, 2008
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It may not be quite as attention-grabbing as lasers or nano explosives, but Philips Research seems to think that it's so-called microbubbles could have a big impact on cancer treatment nonetheless, and they're apparently already showing some promise. According to the company, the red-blood-cell-sized bubbles would be used to carry drugs through the patients bloodstream and tracked using ultrasound imaging. Then, once they've reached their target, a focused ultrasound pulse would rupture the bubbles and release their drug payload. That, Philips says, would not only increase the effectiveness of the drugs, but reduce the side effects normally associated with them and, ultimately, lead to a quicker recovery. From the looks of it, however, things are still at the pre-clinical stage, and there's no indication of any future plans just yet.


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