Cancer is a devastating disease that can have a profound impact on individuals, families, and communities. Solid tumor cancers, such as glioblastoma (brain cancer), pancreatic cancer, and melanoma 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 a dramatic improvement over traditional chemotherapies, effective treatments for many solid tumors remain elusive.
Focal Medical uses its iontophoretic delivery systems to deliver powerful chemotherapeutic agents, precisely targeting the cancer cells and avoiding more general exposure to the often toxic properties of these drugs. Our goal is to apply Focal Medical’s technology to improve health outcomes for patients with solid tumors.
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. Surgical resection is only an option in local and regional cases which represent approximately 50% of diagnoses. However, only ~15% of 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 largely lack blood vessels, the typical method for delivering and transporting drugs. They are also heterogeneous in nature and encased in a fibrotic stromal shell. These obstructions often lead to poor response to drug therapy.
Side effects may be significant: Delivery of anti-cancer agents is typically by intravenous infusion following a prescribed course over several 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 anti-cancer agents to locally advanced tumors could shrink otherwise non-resectable pancreatic tumors away from adjacent blood vessels and other organs, more patients could undergo resection, the only potentially curative treatment for pancreatic cancer.