Real-time MRI-guided drug delivery demonstrated

Royal Philips Electronics and Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands reports what it's calling an "important development" in MRI-guided local delivery of cancer treatment. The joint research team has now demonstrated in preclinical studies that if local drug uptake in tumors can be achieved if they can be visualized and measured in real time. Real-time measurements could indicate if drug uptake in the tumor was sufficient, or if an additional treatment may be needed. The proof of concept is scheduled to appear in the Journal of Controlled Release in February.

Cancer chemotherapy treatment is used to kill tumor cells and is more effective at higher doses. But dosage levels are limited by potentially severe adverse effects to the rest of the body. In preclinical studies using their local drug delivery proof-of-concept system designed for the treatment of certain types of tumors, Philips and Eindhoven achieved an increased chemotherapy drug dose at the tumor site. Some tumors contain sections poorly supplied with blood, which means that chemotherapy drugs are then not taken up evenly in the tumor. As a result, some regions receive sub-optimal doses and are not effectively treated with chemotherapy.

"Image-guided drug delivery technology has the potential to improve chemotherapy cancer treatment for certain types of cancer," Henk van Houten, an executive at Philips said in a release. "Collaborating with partners and building on Philips' strength in medical imaging, we have shown that early feedback at the time of localized drug delivery treatment is possible, which could ultimately enable more informed treatment planning for better patient outcomes."

- read the release