Active Drug Delivery for Precision Treatment
ACT is developing the ACT-IOP-003 local chemotherapy system for the treatment of locally advanced non-resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. In this trial, the device will deliver the chemotherapy drug, gemcitabine, through the dense tumor microenvironment, directly to the tumor, while also minimizing the systemic toxicity commonly associated with chemotherapy treatments for pancreatic cancer. This approach offers three major advantages over traditional systemic chemotherapy: (1) Superior delivery of chemotherapy to the tumor cells, greatly increasing the amount of drug available to treat the tumor, (2) Tumor shrinkage that can enable surgical resection, the only curative treatment for pancreatic cancer, and (3) Greatly decreased systemic toxicity so that the patient can remain in treatment.
The device uses a process called iontophoresis that actively drives the chemotherapy into the tumor using electrical currents that pass through the drug solution into the tissue. Unlike passive drug delivery technologies that rely strictly on diffusion, Iontophoresis uses a combination of electrorepulsive, electroattractive and electroosmotic forces to drive therapeutic doses of the drug molecules through the tissue, into the tumor.
After recovering from this implantation procedure, the patient returns to the infusion center to begin device delivered. A counter electrode is temporarily applied to the patient’s back and our custom DC power controller is attached to the counter electrode and the electrical port. Standard infusion equipment is used to attach chemotherapy lines to the port as well. Finally, power is turned on and the chemotherapy is delivered directly into the tumor. A typical course of treatment would be weekly infusions for eight weeks. When treatment is complete, the tumor would be re-imaged and if the tumor is now resectable the tumor and the implanted device would be removed at the same time.