Modern technologies of lung cancer treatment include targeted therapy, immunotherapy, targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs using nanoparticles, radiation therapy using neural networks, cyberknife, proton therapy, the use of Da Vinci surgical robots.
Monarch – robot for bronchoscopy and lung cancer treatment
Modern bronchoscopy is quite limited in its capabilities, because bronchi are strongly branching and gradually narrowing, so that even an experienced endoscopist can not move a bronchoscope deep enough without damaging the respiratory tract. Because of this, in particular, we have not very effective diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. American startup Auris Health has created a robotic bronchoscopy system Monarch. It includes a special flexible bronchoscope, which is telescopically extended, minimizing friction against the bronchial walls and allowing access to the most remote areas. The doctor controls the movement of the bronchoscope with a joystick and an image on the screen. At the same time, due to zooming, the movement of the bronchoscope tip is very accurate and precise. With the help of the robot it is possible to perform both visual examination and biopsy and surgical intervention.
The Calypso system optimizes the radiotherapy of cancer by means of an implant
British company Varian, which is known for its linear gas pedals, has in its arsenal system Calypso, which allows you to accurately target the rays of the linear gas pedal on the tumor (while it is used for tumors of the lung and prostate). The system consists of a scanner and a small beacon implant (1 cm long), which is placed near the tumor before treatment. The patient is given an MRI, which results in a 3D model of the mutual location of the implant and the tumor. And during radiotherapy sessions, the position of the implant can be corrected and, most importantly, take into account the movements of the patient’s body, including breathing. If the irradiated area is out of focus, the system switches off the radiator so that the radiation does not reach healthy tissue.
Scientists use “smart” nanoparticles to fight lung cancer
Lung tumors are often difficult to remove surgically. They also create natural barriers that prevent drugs and immune cells from entering the tumor cells. As a result, patients often receive high doses of chemotherapy, which causes serious side effects. Researchers Darcy Wagner, Silke Meiners from the University of Lund (Sweden) have developed nanoparticles to deliver chemotherapy drugs that are injected into the circulatory system, but open” and release the drug only with a specific signal that is present in the lung tumor area. The technology is called ORVD (organ-restricted vascular delivery). This reduces the risk that drugs contained in nanoparticles will cause damage to healthy organs and even to healthy lung tissue.
A way has been found to overcome the resistance of lung cancer to chemotherapy
Sometimes in the treatment of lung cancer with chemotherapy malignant cells manage to develop resistance to treatment. Researchers from Giorgio Medical College have managed to find out why this happens. It turned out that TIMP-1 molecules were responsible for this process, which increase the expression of protein IL-6, which causes resistance to chemotherapy. To verify their results, they analyzed data from patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. People with low TIMP-1 and IL-6 had higher survival rates. It is important that the indicators worked only in tandem and amplification of only one of them did not affect the prognosis. These findings open up great opportunities to develop new strategies to treat this disease.