Putting Cancerous Tumors on Lockdown Medigear International Corporation IP

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Medigear International Corporation is designing a new cancer therapy that is more effective, less invasive, and less expensive than standard therapies

The standard options for treating cancer put a tremendous burden on patients. Surgery is invasive and the pain often lingers afterwards, while less invasive methods such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy are expensive and cause unpleasant side effects. Medigear International Corporation is developing a new choice for patients facing the toughest cancers.

As Takeo Tanaka, CEO and President of Yokohama-based Medigear International Corporation, explains, the company is conducting research and development for a new cancer therapy option called Trans-catheter Tumor Encapsulation. The idea is to use nanotechnology to surround tumor tissue and neutralize it. The benefit? A therapy that could be effective for all types of cancer patients – particularly those suffering from liver, pancreatic and lung cancers, which have very low survival rates in their later stages. This treatment can also be provided at a fraction of the cost and discomfort (including hair loss and radiation exposure) of conventional therapies.

General view of Trans-catheter Tumor Encapsulation, courtesy of Medigear International Corporation

TTE involves an oil-based solution (clear vial) that is turned into tiny nano particles (white vial)

Medigear's technology parallels an existing therapy known as Trans-catheter Arterial Embolization (TAE), in which a tiny catheter is carefully threaded through the patient’s arteries until it reaches the tumor. Embolical spheres 30-300 μm in size are then passed through the catheter, creating a blockage that cuts off the flow of blood, depriving the tumor of oxygen and nutrients.

However, Tanaka notes several problems with this method. “The skill of the surgeon is key, as the embolical spheres could block arteries that lead to healthy tissues,” he explains. Even when the flow of the artery is blocked, tumor cells are good at adapting and creating alternate routes to obtain blood. “Physicians have also expressed concerns about leaving plastic inside the human body,” he adds.

Higher Quality of Life for Patients around the Globe

The nanoparticles could potentially serve as vehicles for anti-cancer drugs, Tanaka points out, although he intends to leave development of such applications to business partners. Eyeing the rising rates of cancer not only in Europe and North America, but in the BRICS and other developing countries, Tanaka says, “We hope to create joint ventures with medical device vendors and pharmaceutical companies.”

Tanaka is striving to ensure that his TTE therapy will contribute to a higher quality of life for cancer patients – shorter hospital stays, and far less inconvenience. “The final goal,” he says, “is to not use a catheter at all, but directly inject the particles into the blood vessel, and have them automatically collect around the tumor.”

Based on interview in February 2016

Medigear International Corporation CEO and President, Takeo Tanaka