A recent study aimed to define the most effective chemotherapy dosage to successfully shrink tumors after surgery in women with residual ovarian cancer spread throughout the abdomen.
It found that the effectiveness of chemotherapy strongly relies on the outcome of the initial surgery to remove as many tumors as possible.
This study suggests that a high dosage of chemotherapy, delivered either continuously or in a single dose, is capable of effectively eliminating the smaller residual tumors, but larger tumors require the use of a continuous and high dose to succeed— a higher dose than is tolerable under current ways of administering chemotherapy.
The study, “Ovarian cancer spheroid shrinkage following continuous exposure to cisplatin is a function of spheroid diameter,” was published in Gynecologic Oncology.
Platinol (cisplatin) is one of the most commonly used chemotherapy drugs to treat patients with ovarian cancer. Previous studies indicate a higher success for this treatment when Platinol is continuously delivered directly into the abdomen through a catheter, rather than via intravenous delivery.
Still, many patients do not tolerate this form of treatment because of associated complications, and not all are able to complete it.
“It’s painful and the catheter can be a site of local infections,” Michael Cima, the study’s senior author and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, said in a press release.
The authors of this study are working now to create a way of delivering high-dose Platinol, in a continuous manner, directly to the abdomen of the patients without the use of a catheter.
“As we entered into this project, our question was how do we get the same beneficial outcomes and reduce all the side effects?” Cima said.
The research team now aims to develop an implant device that allows the delivery of a continuous high dosage of Platinol to ovarian cancer patients, without the complications normally associated with the use of the catheter.
Ideally, the implant would be placed in the patient’s abdomen during the initial surgery, essential to remove most tumors, and would then be extracted after the completion of the treatment through a non-invasive procedure.