Beating Cancer with Bubbles

Beating cancer with bubbles

Beating cancer with bubbles

A chemotherapy bubble viewed through a microscope

In Oxford, a trio of Stand Up to Cancer scientists are developing a futuristic way to package and deliver chemotherapy more effectively, using microscopic bubbles.

Each microbubble will contain a dose of chemo, and can be coated in cancer-hunting microscopic ‘anchors’ that can seek out and stick to tumours. Once the bubbles are in place, a targeted, high-frequency ultrasound beam causes them to vibrate furiously – turning the teensy bubbles into high-powered pumps.

A wave of destructive chemo will be propelled deep into a tumour, ensuring that even hard-to-reach cells can’t escape (but leaving healthy cells untouched). If successfully engineered, these microbubbles could dramatically improve how thousands of existing chemotherapy drugs work – ultimately saving lives.

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