Autonomous implant for patient-friendly cancer treatment

In cancer research, a scientific team at Fraunhofer EMFT is working on novel, more patient-friendly therapeutic approaches. In cooperation with partners from industry, an autonomous implant has been realized that can metronomically dose drugs into the tumor with milliliter precision, leaving healthy cells unharmed. 

© Fraunhofer EMFT/ Bernd Müller
Micropump for patient-friendly cancer therapy

When a cancerous tumor metastasizes, the patient's chances of recovery are significantly reduced. These metastases are particularly threatening in the case of malignant tumors as, despite numerous attempts, no effective treatment against metastasis has yet been found. Fraunhofer EMFT is pursuing a new innovative approach in a joint development project with its industrial partner.

Cytostatics are powerful medications in the fight against cancer. They affect almost all cells in the body, killing not only the cancer cells but also healthy cells. The aim of the project is to use the bubble-tolerant silicon MEMS micropump (TUDOS - Tumor Dosing) developed by Fraunhofer EMFT against meningeal metastasis as the heart of an autonomous implant. Since this treatment method does not attack healthy cells and due to the high dosing accuracy of the micropump, the therapeutic level is not left, which lays the foundation for a completely new modernized and more patient-friendly cancer treatment.

In the future, in addition to the exact study of the dosing stability in the long-term test of the pumped cytostatic drug, the interaction between the micropump and the drug will also be researched to prepare the micropumps for medical studies. This progress could be a decisive approach in the future, because metastases are still the biggest opponent in the fight for survival against cancer.

Before the implant can be used for real treatment, it must first be developed to product level and then undergo the necessary clinical tests for approval.



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