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Skin Cancer 2019: Can Microneedle Technology Improve Skin Cancer Treatment?

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019

Preliminary results presented at the 2019 World Congress on Advanced Treatments and Technologies in Skin Cancer (Skin Cancer 2019) in Vienna showed that dissolving microneedles may provide a noninvasive method for treating skin cancer through the delivery of localized immunotherapy (Poster Board 9). Although the standard treatment for melanoma is surgical incision, it can be associated with serious side effects in terms of patients’ appearance and quality of life. The study findings indicated that the eradication of cancer with positive cosmetic outcomes may be achieved through localized, targeted treatment technologies.

“Delivery, at the tumor site, of therapeutic amounts of cytokines that can trigger natural killer cells may be achieved using microneedle technologies,” Eriketi Loizidou, PhD, MRSC, and colleagues of Middlesex University London, United Kingdom, stated.

The researchers prepared rapidly dissolving microneedle devices, consisting of a carbohydrate formulation, for the direct, localized delivery of cytokines. Each device contained 1 μm of tumor necrosis factor–alpha (TNF-a). They then measured skin diffusion using Franz cells and porcine skin compared with a control device, or a disk without needles made up of the same sugar–TNF-a composition as the microneedle array.

Compared with the control device, initial data suggested that small doses of TNF-a may be integrated using microneedles. The authors observed enhanced distribution of TNF-a in the skin with the microneedle device compared with the control. Eventually, the authors noted, this technology may be developed into self-administered patches, thereby improving patient compliance and economic burden.



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