According to a group of scientists from Rice University, curing cancer will soon be as easy as a few taps on a mobile phone.

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Scientists have received $45 million in funding for a new implant-based treatment system that could reduce cancer mortality rates.

The funds provided by the Agency for Advanced Health Research Projects will be used to develop "feel and respond" implantation technology with the goal of improving the outcomes of immunotherapeutic treatments for cancers that are usually difficult to treat.

Scientists are developing an implant that can quickly cure cancer / Photo: Rice University

"Instead of strapping patients to hospital beds, IVs, and external monitors, we will use a minimally invasive procedure to implant a small device that continuously monitors their cancer and adjusts their immunotherapy dose in real time," commented project principal investigator Omid Weisse.

Similar to treating diabetes with insulin pumps, a three-inch implant, or "hybrid advanced molecular regulator of production" (HAMMR), will deliver immunotherapy drugs to the patient in a "closed-loop" system. Paid devices will exchange data wirelessly, "potentially with a smartphone," researchers told KHOU 11.

Scientists are developing an implant that can quickly cure cancer / Photo: Rice University

Scientists hope that the implant will only be needed for short-term use — and the cancer will be eradicated in just 60 days.

"Cancer cells are constantly evolving and adapting to therapy. However, the diagnostic tools currently available, including radiological tests, blood tests and biopsies, provide very rare and limited snapshots of this dynamic process," said Dr. Amir Jazaeri, one of the principal investigators and professor of gynecological oncology at the University of Texas. "As a result, current cancer treatments treat as if it were a static disease."

Scientists are developing an implant that can quickly cure cancer / Photo: Rice University

Instead, their technology, which serves as both a cancer monitoring system and a drug administration system, will provide "real-time data from the tumor environment, which in turn can guide more effective and tumor-based new treatments" and therefore speed up the treatment process.

"This technology is widely used in peritoneal cancers affecting the pancreas, liver, lungs and other organs," Weisse said.

The research team is comprised of experts from multiple fields spanning 20 laboratories in seven states under the name of the THOR project, which stands for "Targeted Hybrid Cancer Therapy Regulation."

The first clinical trial will be devoted to studying the effectiveness of the implant in the recurrence of ovarian cancer. They hope to start human trials within five years.

Last year, Weisse's team of researchers had already demonstrated the effectiveness of "drug factory" technology on mice with ball-shaped implants that eradicated late-stage ovarian and colorectal cancer in six days. Now, according to Weisse, they can "build on this experience" in clinical trials, using HAMMR as "the next iteration of this approach."

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