Scientists at Rice University have received a whopping $45 million in funding to develop a groundbreaking implant-based treatment system for cancer. The system, known as “sense-and-respond implant technology,” aims to revolutionize immunotherapy treatments for difficult-to-treat cancers by improving their outcomes.
The implant, named HAMMR (hybrid advanced molecular manufacturing regulator), will have the ability to continuously monitor the patient’s cancer and adjust their immunotherapy dose in real time. This cutting-edge technology will deliver immunotherapy drugs to the patient in a “closed loop” system, which is similar to how diabetes patients manage their insulin levels with pumps.
Measuring about three inches long, the implant will also possess wireless communication capabilities, potentially allowing patients to receive updates and track their progress using a smartphone. This integration of advanced technology holds the promise of increased convenience and ease for cancer patients.
The research team responsible for this remarkable development goes by the name THOR (targeted hybrid oncotherapeutic regulation) and consists of experts from 20 labs across seven states. Their goal is to create an implant that will not only monitor cancer but also administer drugs, providing real-time data on the tumor environment to guide more effective therapies.
Excitingly, the scientists behind this project hope that the HAMMR implant will be able to cure cancer in as little as 60 days. Despite the ambitious nature of this goal, previous studies conducted on mice have demonstrated the effectiveness of similar technology by eradicating late-stage ovarian and colorectal cancers within just six days.
While the initial focus of the implant’s clinical trial will be on recurrent ovarian cancer, human trials are expected to commence in the next five years. This will be an important milestone in the journey towards making this groundbreaking technology accessible to patients who desperately need it.
The incredible potential of the sense-and-respond implant technology is not only limited to its ability to improve cancer treatment outcomes but also to its capacity to revolutionize the way we approach and combat this devastating disease. With such exciting developments on the horizon, it is truly a remarkable time for the future of cancer research and treatment.