Dry Powders to Treat Lung Cancer Tumors


Lung cancer has been killing 1.6 million people each year. 85% of people among them die with non-small cell lung cancer whereas the rest of 15% fall prey to small cell lung cancer. Surgery and immunotherapy along the support of chemotherapy are used to treat lung cancer. Severe toxicities occur while treatment due to the diversity of patients.

To reduce the toxicity generated to various drugs a new route of administration has been found by researchers. Inhaled chemotherapy reduces the risk of toxicity as drugs aren’t distributed all over the body. Inhaled chemotherapy works in NSCLC combined with immunotherapy and is free of toxicities that were produced while combining other therapies.

In stage-III inhaled chemotherapy can be used along systematic chemotherapy. This is done during off-period of systematic chemotherapy for 3 weeks and the organism can recover. Cancer growth would be seen in case of discontinuing chemotherapy for 3 weeks. Inhaled chemotherapy is able to maintain local anti-tumor concentrations regardless of systematic toxicities experienced.

Insufficient local dose delivery, the requirement of special equipment, the possibility of ADR’s and, poor ability of chemicals to penetrate into tumors are some technological limitations of inhaled chemotherapy. But now several technologies have been developed by Unit of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics of ULB to cross these limitations. A specific expertise area of UPB deals with dry powder inhalers (DPI’s). It’s single use of disposable devices that can be administered with a higher dose and is safe from air contamination.

Local pulmonary tolerance was an important concern of chemotherapy doses which has been adjusted by introducing a Cisplatin-based DPI and Paclitaxel-based DPI. Prolonged retention and control release are achievements of using Cisplatin-based DPI. Paclitaxel-based DPI uses Paclitaxel-based nano-carriers that potentiate chemotherapy having a dual approach. Such products are a hope for fighting fatal cancers and InhaTarget Therapeutics is working on such inventions.