Scientists explore 'bubbly drink' link in battle against cancer
Published 08/06/2016 | 00:06
Scientists are examining whether a special bubbly drink could help fight cancer.
Experts are looking to develop a drink packed with oxygen microbubbles to make cancer treatments more potent.
Some tumours can adapt to low oxygen conditions, making them harder to treat with drugs. As tumours grow, the blood vessels delivering essential nutrients become increasingly weak, which means that cancer treatments can struggle to penetrate the tumour.
Scientists from Cancer Research UK are looking at new ways to deliver extra oxygen to the site of a tumour, which would then allow radiotherapy and chemotherapy to work the way they are intended to.
They are investigating how oxygen bubbles transport from the stomach to pancreatic tumours and exploring whether this could be done by giving patients a bubbly drink.
"We're especially excited about the potential this bubbly drink could have for hard to treat cancers like pancreatic cancer, where survival rates are low and better treatments are urgently needed," said Professor Eleanor Stride, Cancer Research UK scientist at the University of Oxford.
"We've had success in the lab in mice, so we're now looking at how to scale this up for patients."
Dr Iain Foulkes, executive director for research funding at Cancer Research UK, said: "We're investing in pioneering ways to improve survival for patients.
"Prof Stride and her team are thinking outside the box, and this is just the sort of innovation we want to spark through our Pioneer Awards scheme. By being bold we aim to make a difference."