|The Appearance of Gell Developed/ mk.co.kr|
A joint research team led by Park Cheon-kyung, a professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at SKKU, and Michael Goldberg, a professor of Harvard Medical School, have developed a bio-friendly “Hydrogel” that prevents cancer relapse and transfer after cancer removal surgery. They succeeded in preventing cancer recurrence by sending immune-boosting drugs to the surgical sites of a mouse whose tumors had been removed. Cancers are known to reoccur in 40% of the patients who have removed tumors through surgical operations within five years, and cancer recurrence and transference accounts for more than 90% of cancer deaths. Even if a patient has had an entire tumor removed, it is common for a small number of tumor cells to remain at the surgical site. The researchers made a gel that is 1.2cm in diameter, which breaks down in the body and disappears using the compound hyaluronic acid within the body. The gel contains immune-boosting drugs which are delivered to the surgical site over a long period. The researchers opened the abdomen of a mouse which had breast cancer and lung cancer, removed the tumor, and transplanted using the hydrogel they developed. It is common for the beneficial immune cells that protect the body to be eliminated, but the drugs in the gel strengthen the immune system of the surgical site during this time, making it possible to remove the remaining cancer cells. Following a 12 week observation, a mouse with hydrogel had a higher survival rate compared to other mice without the hydrogel. The gel showed higher therapeutic effects than traditional intravenous therapy, and no toxicity was found in organs. It is evaluated that this study laid a new foundation for tumor therapy as it increased the success rate of operations on cancer patients. Since the drug hydrogel is not toxic to humans, the joint research team is now planning on applying hydrogel to patients through clinical trials. The research result was published in the international scientific journal “Science Translational Medicine” on February 21st.
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