A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals a promising method to deliver a first-line treatment for pancreatic cancer using an iontophoretic device. DeSimone lab member, Dr. James Byrne, led the preclinical study, showing significantly improved drug accumulation in tumors when using the device to administer chemotherapies compared to using an IV, leading to better tumor response. Moreover, using the device avoided significant systemic toxicity, showing extremely low drug exposure to the rest of the body.
The device was originally developed by Byrne and colleagues in the DeSimone lab and has been studied in collaboration with Dr. Jen Jen Yeh’s lab at UNC. Byrne and colleagues first revealed the device in a paper in Science Translational Medicine in 2015. The new paper, “Iontophoretic device delivery for the localized treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma,” builds on initial results, demonstrating device efficacy using FOLFIRINOX, a potent combination of four chemotherapy drugs. Byrne earned his Ph.D. in 2014 and is slated to graduate in 2016 with his M.D. from UNC’s School of Medicine.