Five percent of people will suffer from colorectal cancer in their lifetime, and fifty percent of tumors reappear after surgery. But now an adhesive patch can reduce that risk. Researchers at MIT have developed an adhesive patch that can deliver drug, gene and light-based therapy to the tumor site. This may even eliminate the need for chemotherapy and the unpleasant side effects that go with it. In addition, it is expected to prove much more effective because it delivers the treatment at the target site.
The triple therapy is delivered via a hydrogel patch that contains gold Nano-rods. When the patch is exposed to near-infrared radiation, the Nano-rods heat up, destroying the tumor cells. At the same time, they release the necessary drugs, directly targeting the affected site. The patch also contains gold nanospeheres. They don’t heat up when exposed to near-infrared. Instead, they deliver RNA to the site, preventing healthy cells from turning into cancerous cells.