Scientists are working on an implant that’s smaller than a pencil eraser and they’re hoping it’ll be able to treat cancer in as little as 60 days. The three-inch device was created by researchers from seven states, with a focus on Houston, Texas-based Rice University.
It works both as a cancer detector and a drug delivery system. Doctors figure out what kind of medication a patient needs, and then put it into the device so it can be given to them.
This new device, called the Hybrid Advanced Molecular Manufacturing Regulator (HAMMR), is packed with sensors that track fast-growing cancer cells and adjust the release of immune-boosting drugs based on how the patient responds. It’s like a closed-loop therapy for diabetes, where the glucose monitor talks to the insulin pump all the time. But it’s totally different with cancer immunotherapy.
This new device is just one of many cutting-edge cancer-fighting technologies being developed. Earlier this year, a ‘breakthrough’ pill was discovered to completely kill all solid tumors in a small study. Immunotherapy is a way of treating cancer by boosting the immune system’s natural fight against the cancer.