The major goals of interventional pulmonology are to improve breathing while minimizing infections through minimally invasive procedures within the airways. In patients with compromised airways, the daily struggle to breath can be extremely difficult even with supplemental oxygen. A partial relief of airway obstruction can have remarkable effects on symptoms and quality of life. Mercator has developed, as part of this STTR research and in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Steward St. Elizabeth?s Medical Center in Boston, MA, the Blowfish? Transbronchial Micro-Infusion Catheter to enable precision drug delivery to airway walls. Prior to the techniques developed in this project, drugs were administered to bronchi with swabs or crude biopsy needles. Treatment options for bronchial carcinoma over the past two decades have grown to include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgical resection, photodynamic therapy (PDT), argon plasma coagulation (APC), brachytherapy, and laser resection. Each of these therapeutic options carries risks and leads to recurrence of malignant airway obstruction often within 2 months of the therapy. Our goal is to minimize risks of localized treatment of carcinoma in situ associated with PDT, laser, APC therapies, etc. but offer similar benefit. Local bronchial wall delivery of drugs can also be an important treatment as adjuvant therapy for metastatic or benign diseases that cause airway narrowing.
|Zarogoulidis, Paul; Yarmus, Lonny; Darwiche, Kaid et al. (2013) Interleukin-6 cytokine: a multifunctional glycoprotein for cancer. Immunome Res 9:16535|