Microtumors are one of the most pressing concerns for cancer patients after they have undergone surgery to remove the larger tumors. Whether the microtumors are missed due to their size, or developed afterwards as metasticized or circulating tumors, the threat remains the same. With this in mind, a group of BME researchers led by Zhen Gu have developed a new way to effectively combat cancer resurgence after surgery: platelet immunotherapy. By attaching cancer-fighting antibodies to platelets and injecting them at the surgery site, many of the side effects currently experienced by traditional immunotherapy patients can be avoided. The team believes that use of these antibodies, coupled with the new delivery method, will also significantly increase long-term remission. The study has recently been featured by UNC Healthcare News, and Zhen has been featured in Vital Signs, the UNC Healthcare Newsletter.
The paper was published earlier this month in Nature Biomedical Engineering. Lead author is Dr. Chao Wang, accompanied by Zhen Gu as senior author. Co-authors on the paper are Dr. Wujin Sun, Dr. Quanyin Hu, and Hunter Bomba.