Cancer is a devastating disease that can have a profound impact on individuals, families, and communities. Solid tumor cancers, such as pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma multiforme (a form of brain cancer) are among the most aggressive and challenging to treat with few treatment options and poor treatment outcomes. While recent advances in immunotherapy and other technologies have shown improvements, effective treatments for many solid tumors remain elusive.
Focal Medical uses its iontophoretic delivery system to deliver powerful anti-cancer agents, precisely targeting the tumor via non-circulatory pathways and avoiding exposure of healthy organs with its associated toxicity. Our goal is to apply Focal Medical’s technology to improve health outcomes for patients with solid tumor cancers.
62,000 people a year are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S. The five-year survival rate is 12%.
Surgery can help, but has limits: Surgical resection is the only potentially curative treatment. However, only ~15% of all patients are eligible for surgery because the extent of tumor growth and its invasion of other important local organs often precludes effective resection.
Drug transport to the tumor faces barriers: Pancreatic tumors have poor blood supply, the typical method for transporting drugs. They are also heterogeneous in nature and encased in fibrotic stromal tissue. These obstructions often lead to poor response to drug therapy.
Side effects may be significant: Delivery of anti-cancer agents is typically by systemic intravenous infusion following a prescribed course over months. The systemic exposure to chemotherapy agents has significant side effects and may impact quality of life and the ability to tolerate therapy.
Focal Medical’s approach may be a better way: If the targeted delivery of gemcitabine to locally advanced tumors could shrink otherwise nonresectable pancreatic tumors away from adjacent blood vessels and other organs, a patient might undergo resection, the only potentially curative treatment for pancreatic cancer.