Plastic nanotechnology to optimize the treatment of prostate cancer
The Spanish company ERESA, specialized in special radiologic explorations, and AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, are carrying out a research project, started on June 2016 and funded by the Ministry of Economy through the programme RETOS, which will have as a result innovative polymeric tags with the mission of improving the radiotherapy treatments in prostate cancer and probably in other localizations.
Currently, the tags used in these treatments consist of 1x4mm golden seeds that are used to trace the locations of the prostate by means of a picture system that finds the area to be irradiated, thus monitoring the movement of the prostate during irradiation. The new tags consist of smart copolymers that change the phase in contact with the human body and allow a more precise localization of the prostate, thus getting to decrease the safety margins applied and guaranteeing that the prostate is always within the irradiation area, therefore the affected zone will be treated with better precision and adverse effects of radiotherapy will be minimized.
According to Amador García, main project researcher of AIMPLAS, “another benefit provided by these innovative tags is the fact that, unlike gold, they are visible both through X-rays and resonances. Besides, they are degraded by the organism itself”.
The project is coordinated by ERESA, leading group in Image Diagnosis and Nuclear Medicine in Spain, with a strong marketing in Radiation Oncology and it will be performed up to its preclinical phase with tests on rodents and the results will be patented after its completion in December 2018.