August 2023 Digital Health Roundup

August 2023 Digital Health Roundup

This month advances in technology aid doctors and scientists in the fight against cancer. Microbubbles armed with oxygen and a cancer drug are having positive results in mice trials. Scientists have developed robotic tentacles to assist doctors with lung cancer treatment. A new ultrasound scanner has been developed to screen for breast cancer.

Delivering Oxygen to Tumors May Be Key in Overcoming Radiation Resistance

A team led by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University and Drexel University has devised a strategy that combines ultrasound with microbubbles to deliver oxygen and cancer drugs to tumors. The results of a study published in the journal Pharmaceutics indicate that the method -tested in mice- primed tumors to be more vulnerable to radiation therapy, resulting in slowed tumor growth and increase survival reports Cancer Health. Radiation therapy causes hypoxia, which is a condition cancer cells grow in. Some tumors are resistant to radiotherapy because of this hypoxia. Scientists made microbubbles full of oxygen and the drug Ionidamine, that stops cancer cell metabolism. When injected into the body, it is targeted to release what it carries by use of ultrasound waves. In the trials, this method has been used for breast cancer treatment with the hope of using it on head and neck cancers. Click here to read more.

These Tiny Robotic Tentacles Could Travel into the Lungs to Treat Cancer

Scientists made robotic tentacles on the end of a bronchoscope to reach deeper into the lungs during lung cancer treatment. During the journey, magnets adapt the robot’s shape to the body’s anatomy. As it moves, both its form and position are fed back to a clinician. After reaching its destination, an embedded laser fiber can deliver localized treatment reports The Next Web. Magnets make the tentacles softer and easier to control the shape, so it conforms to the anatomy of the lungs. Early stages of lung cancer are typically treated by surgical intervention to take cancerous lung tissue. These robotic tentacles are less invasive and cause less pain and recovery time. This method makes for more precise removal of cancerous tissue, leaving behind more healthy tissue. Scientists have started testing this method on cadavers and will soon be moving to human trials. Click here to read more.

Study: Wearable Ultrasound Scanner Could Detect Breast Cancer Earlier

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said Friday they have developed a wearable ultrasound tracker that could detect breast cancer as at its early stages, giving it the potential to save lives reports UPI News. The new scanner is flexible and attaches to a bra. It captures images like ultrasound probes do in normal medical imaging. The scanner is portable and can easily be used from home. The openings in the patch have magnets that make it attach to a bra. The ultrasound scanner was made small so it could easily be used anywhere. This method is more comfortable than a mammogram, making more patients more willing to have the screening done. Click here to read more.