Primary Tumor (Organ Confined)

  • More traditional approaches (surgery, radiation therapy) are largely ineffective for metastatic cancers
  • Chemotherapy is widely used for metastatic disease, but has serious drawbacks such as toxic effects on normal tissues, development of resistance, and little effect on slow-growing cells in the tumor
  • Many approaches have been attempted to “target” the delivery of cancer drugs to limit these drawbacks

Metastasis (Spread To Other Parts Of The Body)

  • These approaches have generally met with limited success due to factors such as:
    • Targeted delivery systems still ‘leak’ the cancer drug out into the blood stream, and/or struggle to deliver high enough concentrations to the tumor
    • “Angiogenesis inhibitors” that aim to cut off blood supply to tumors only block new blood vessels growing – slowing, but not reversing, tumor growth
    • Development of resistance and ineffectiveness against slowly-dividing tumor cells are still issues