A simple nipple injection may now be a new non-invasive treatment for breast cancer.
The procedure, demonstrated on mice, offers direct access to the most common origin of breast cancer, the milk ducts, and could be used to offer cancer therapy that spares healthy regions of the body.
"Local delivery of therapeutic agents into the breast, through intra-nipple injection, could diminish the side effects typically observed with systemic chemotherapy-where the toxic drugs pass through all of the tissues of the body," Dr. Silva Krause, one of the researchers behind the experiment, said.
"It also prevents drug breakdown by the liver, for example, which can rapidly reduce effective drug levels," she said.
According to Silva, she and her colleagues have already begun experimentation in applying the method.
"The authors have utilized this technique to inject a new nanoparticle-based therapeutic that inhibits a specific gene that drives breast cancer formation," Silva said.
"This targeted treatment was shown to prevent cancer progression in mice that spontaneously develop mammary tumors, [and] is currently in review in Science Translational Medicine," she added.
The research is published in JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments.