Actium BioSystems puts the heat on cancer with hyperthermic delivery

Actium BioSystems is testing a novel delivery system for treating cancer that employs both heat and chemotherapy in a selectively targeted attack.

Actium is preparing further in vivo studies that will help an FDA application pass muster down the line when the company begins human trials. As it stands, the company showed the procedure's effectiveness in in vivo studies against bladder cancer.

Researchers have long known the benefits of applying heat to cancer cells in a procedure called hyperthermia, which weakens and kills them, but, in practice, getting the procedure to be viable has been troublesome. Actium's treatment improves upon the idea by using a lower heat that still affects the cancer cells but causes less harm to healthy ones.

Actium's ACT system generates a magnetic field to excite iron oxide nanoparticles delivered via a catheter, raising the temperature of the cancerous region by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius. When used in tandem with chemotherapy, this small amount of heat applied for an hour makes the drugs significantly more effective, Actium asserts.

"The fact is that there is a significant unmet clinical need for treating bladder cancer, which recurs in about 60% of patients within two years," Actium President Joe Tondu said in a statement. "The ACT system is designed to solve the selective-heating problem by exciting only magnetic nanoparticles to the precise temperature needed to increase the efficacy of traditional cancer treatments."

- here's the release

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