Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biodegradable Gel Being Studied As Treatment For Esophageal Cancer

Date:
April 20, 2009
Source:
Rush University Medical Center
Summary:
Gastroenterologists are studying the safety and efficacy of a new system for delivering chemotherapy for patients with esophageal cancer, a rare, but deadly disease that attacks the throat. The unique drug therapy delivers a highly concentrated dose of chemotherapy injected directly on to the hard-to-reach tumors in the esophagus nonsurgically. Researchers are trying to determine if the gel treatment can reduce the size of the cancerous tumors.

Gastroenterologists at Rush University Medical Center are studying the safety and efficacy of a new system for delivering chemotherapy for patients with esophageal cancer, a rare, but deadly disease that attacks the throat. The unique drug therapy delivers a highly concentrated dose of chemotherapy injected directly on to the hard-to-reach tumors in the esophagus non-surgically.

Related Articles


Researchers at Rush are trying to determine if the gel treatment can reduce the size of the cancerous tumors.

Patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer are usually diagnosed at very advanced stages and not only have to undergo chemoradiation therapy, but may also have an esophagectomy, which is a surgical procedure to remove a part of or the entire esophagus.

"Patients with esophageal cancer have very few treatment options and life expectancy can be less than two years from first diagnosis," said Dr. Sohrab Mobarhan, principal investigator of the study and clinical director of the Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Clinic for Gastrointestinal Cancers at Rush. "This also could potentially be a viable treatment option for patients who have inoperable tumors located in their esophagus."

The investigational drug, called OncoGel, is made of two major components, the ReGel drug delivery system, which is a gel made up of ingredients used in biodegradable stitches, and paxclitaxel, a well established, FDA-approved anti-cancer chemotherapy agent. Patients receive a one-time injection of OncoGel during an endoscopy.

"In pilot studies, OncoGel has been shown to continuously release paclitaxel, which is the chemotherapy agent, in concentrated doses at a higher magnitude than in just delivering it through the blood for up to six weeks," said Mobarhan.

Esophageal cancer can develop when stomach acid backs up into the lower esophagus, in some cases damaging cells in the inner layer of the esophagus. This abnormal cellular change is known as Barrett's esophagus. A person could ultimately develop cancer of the esophagus as a result of developing Barrett's.

"Because the symptoms do not seem unusual, the disease can go unnoticed and ignored for long periods of time," said Mobarhan. "A chronic cough, sore throat, indigestion and acid reflux are some of the symptoms that can mask the disease. The lesions that form into cancerous tumors can cause the opening of the esophagus to narrow to nearly half its usual width and make it difficult to swallow."

Data indicates that only 16,000 new cases of esophageal cancer are reported in the U.S. in 2008 and more than 14,000 people – almost 90 percent – died from the disease.

In an earlier phase of the study of OncoGel in patients with late stage inoperable esophageal cancer, 70 percent of patients had a reduction in tumor volume when OncoGel was used in combination with radiotherapy. In addition, after treatment, biopsy samples did not contain tumor cells in almost 40 percent of patients.

OncoGel is pending approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Patients enrolled in the randomized trial at Rush will receive either a single injection of OncoGel as an adjunctive therapy to systemic chemotherapy and concurrent external beam radiation therapy or chemoradiation therapy alone. Participants also may undergo surgical resection (esophagectomy) as part of standard care.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rush University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rush University Medical Center. "Biodegradable Gel Being Studied As Treatment For Esophageal Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415162651.htm>.
Rush University Medical Center. (2009, April 20). Biodegradable Gel Being Studied As Treatment For Esophageal Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415162651.htm
Rush University Medical Center. "Biodegradable Gel Being Studied As Treatment For Esophageal Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415162651.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) An ultra-realistic humanoid robot called &apos;Han&apos; recognises and interprets people&apos;s facial expressions and can even hold simple conversations. Developers Hanson Robotics hope androids like Han could have uses in hospitality and health care industries where face-to-face communication is vital. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Labour Party Warns Britain's Health Service 'on Life Support'

Labour Party Warns Britain's Health Service 'on Life Support'

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Britain&apos;s opposition Labour Party Monday claimed the National Health Service (NHS) was &apos;on life support&apos; as it turned its attention to the state-run service, which is a key issue for the UK&apos;s May 7 general election. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Students Back to School After Long Ebola Closure

Sierra Leone Students Back to School After Long Ebola Closure

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) After an eight-month break, children in Sierra Leone return to school for the first time since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen E-Cigarette Use Triples, Government Debates Regulations

Teen E-Cigarette Use Triples, Government Debates Regulations

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2015) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in 2014, 13.4 percent of high school students reported smoking an e-cigarette within 30 days. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins