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Reuters Health Information (2004-09-27): Drug-releasing beads lower complications of chemotherapy in small trial

Drug & Device Development

Drug-releasing beads lower complications of chemotherapy in small trial

Last Updated: 2004-09-27 13:18:38 -0400 (Reuters Health)

LONDON (Agence de Presse Medicale for Reuters Health) - UK medical device company Biocompatibles on Saturday reported preliminary results showing its drug-releasing beads can target liver tumours without causing as many complications as standard chemotherapy.

Trial data on 15 liver cancer patients showed that drug-eluting beads significantly reduced the body's overall exposure to chemotherapy compared with established drug delivery techniques, the company said in a statement.

"The bead is loaded with high concentrations of doxorubicin but little has been released into the circulation and the complications have been correspondingly low," said trial investigator Ronnie Poon, associate professor at the Centre for the Study of Liver Disease, University of Hong Kong.

The study, presented at the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe's meeting in Barcelona, also looked at tumour responses in a small group of patients who had an MRI scan after three months.

The findings were consistent with the study's goal of improving on the 35% tumour response rate observed with the standard embolisation technique, the company said.

Biocompatibles chief executive Crispin Simon told APM any therapy that enables patients to tolerate higher doses of chemotherapy has enormous medical and commercial potential. The bead might also be developed for colorectal cancer.

The company said the trials were continuing and more data would be released over the next 15 months. The bead was CE Marked earlier this year and has been made available for physician evaluation in Europe and certain other countries.

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