Mini optical fiber device may boost cancer treatment success

Nov. 24, 2021
The technology—a miniaturized implantable device that employs electrode-embedded optical fibers—offers local delivery of medication as well as measurement of tumor impedance and monitoring of the drug’s efficacy over the course of several weeks.

Existing challenges make it difficult for oncologists to ensure “more than moderate success” of cancer immunotherapy. To date, delivery methods do not allow medications to be adjusted “either to lower systemic toxicities or to augment therapeutic response.” Now, researchers are aiming to overcome those hurdles with a miniature optical fiber device.

Developed by a team at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA), the technology — a miniaturized implantable device that employs electrode-embedded optical fibers — offers local delivery of medication as well as measurement of tumor impedance and monitoring of the drug’s efficacy over the course of several weeks. According to the study, published in Nature Communications the combination of local immune checkpoint blockade [antibody] delivery via this device with photodynamic therapy elicits a sustained anti-tumor immunity in multiple tumor models.”

In their work, the researchers injected tumor cells into mice that had been cured of cancer — this allowed them to test the animals’ immune memory against tumors. The team found no tumor regrowth in any of the cured mice. Measuring tumor electrical signals via the new device is done rapidly and allows real-time monitoring of tumor growth; it also “avoids antibodies causing toxicities before reaching the tumor.”

“We can infuse antibodies through our miniature fiber to the tumor to activate T cells around tumor cells and further elicit anti-tumor immunity by recruiting more T cells to the tumor bed,” says researcher Xiaoting Jia, an assistant professor in Virginia Tech’s Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This will eventually produce strong and durable anti-tumor immunity as we see the accumulated memory T cells in tumors and lymph nodes.”

About the Author

Justine Murphy | Multimedia Director, Laser & Military

Justine Murphy is the multimedia director for the Laser & Military Group at Endeavor Business Media. In addition to Laser Focus World, the group includes Military & Aerospace Electronics and Vision Systems Design. She is a multiple award-winning writer and editor with more 20 years of experience in newspaper publishing as well as public relations, marketing, and communications. For nearly 10 years, she has covered all facets of the optics and photonics industry as an editor, writer, web news anchor, and podcast host for an internationally reaching magazine publishing company. Her work has earned accolades from the New England Press Association as well as the SIIA/Jesse H. Neal Awards. She received a B.A. from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Sponsored Recommendations

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Motion Scan and Data Collection Methods for Electro-Optic System Testing

April 10, 2024
Learn how different scanning patterns and approaches can be used in measuring an electro-optic sensor performance, by reading our whitepaper here!

How Precision Motion Systems are Shaping the Future of Semiconductor Manufacturing

March 28, 2024
This article highlights the pivotal role precision motion systems play in supporting the latest semiconductor manufacturing trends.

Case Study: Medical Tube Laser Processing

March 28, 2024
To enhance their cardiovascular stent’s precision, optimize throughput and elevate part quality, a renowned manufacturer of medical products embarked on a mission to fabricate...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!