Implantable electrode device improves delivery and efficacy of chemotherapeutics

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A new device based on inserting positive and negative electrodes on either side of a tumour, injecting a chemotherapeutic and then applying an electric field in order to drive the therapeutic into the tumour had been developed. This device has been tested in pancreatic cancer mouse xenograft models with gemcitabine and the newer combination FOLFIRINOX. Significant tumour volume reductions compared to intravenous delivery of the chemotherapeutic were found in both cases [1, 2].

Given that chemotherapy is the only viable option for most pancreatic cancer patients this development is very encouraging. Chemotherapy is normally associated with debilitating side effects due to systemic effects on normal cells, however targeting the therapeutics with an implantable device should dramatically reduce these side effects. Clinical trials are planned in the near future [3].


  1. Byrne, J. D., M. N. R. Jajja, A. T. O’Neill, L. R. Bickford, A. W. Keeler, N. Hyder, K. Wagner, et al. ‘Local Iontophoretic Administration of Cytotoxic Therapies to Solid Tumors’. Science Translational Medicine 7, no. 273 (4 February 2015): 273ra14–273ra14. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3009951.
  2. Byrne, James D., Mohammad R. N. Jajja, Allison N. Schorzman, Amanda W. Keeler, J. Christopher Luft, William C. Zamboni, Joseph M. DeSimone, and Jen Jen Yeh. ‘Iontophoretic Device Delivery for the Localized Treatment of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma’. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, no. 8 (23 February 2016): 2200–2205. doi:10.1073/pnas.1600421113.
  3. ‘Early-Stage Drug Delivery Implant Targeting Pancreatic Cancer Tumors Showing Promise – FierceDrugDelivery’. Accessed 7 March 2016.

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