Available Technology

Copolymer Electrolyte Mesh Filtering TACE Therapy Components 2014-140

Researchers at Berkeley Lab, in collaboration with peers at the University of California, San Francisco, have created a copolymer membrane used when treating hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) patients with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) to both increase the treatment dose to a tumor site and decrease systemic drug level. TACE utilizes high doses of chemicals that can be harmful to healthy body cells The block copolymer membrane, used as a temporary chemotherapy filter, is designed to quickly bind with Doxorubicin used in TACE therapy and prevent its entrance into the bloodstream. By placing this membrane at the tumor’s exit vein from the kidney, the amount of systemic Doxorubicin is diminished while increasing the amount of active TACE reagents at the tumor site. The mesh, synthesized from polystyrene copolymers, is designed to be between 30 and 50 nanometers thick. With 40% porosity, the membrane is capable of binding up to 80% of the filtered Doxorubicin. As noted in the researchers’ publication, linked below, a seven fold-decrease in systemic Doxorubicin levels was measured after the implementation of this copolymer membrane in experimental conditions. Hepatocellular carcinoma is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide and a persistent form of cancer. As hepatocellular carcinoma is not often surgically treatable, aggressive chemotherapeutic treatments are used. However, these regimens can pose their own set of health risks to patients. For example, as much as 50% of TACE reagents may exit the kidney and enter the systemic circulation over the course of this chemotherapy treatment, potentially harming healthy tissues and cells rather than cancerous ones.
Benefits: 
: - Concentrates TACE reagents in the tumor area - Reduces amount of Doxorubicin circulating in the body - High binding capacity and fast binding kinetics specifically accommodate large amounts of Doxorubicin - Not thrombogenic
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
2014-140
Patent Status: 
Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
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