Diminishing the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment by Improving Treatment Delivery

Alexander Kalin

Diminishing the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment by Improving Treatment Delivery
Kalin, Alexander
Master's theses
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M.A., Columbia University.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and is expected to become more prevalent each year. Cancer is caused by the uncontrollable growth of cells within the human body. This excessive growth can lead to the formation of malignant tumors, which invade parts of the body. Currently, the most common approach to treating cancer is surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. However, chemotherapy and radiation can cause drastic, harmful side effects to patients because they not only affect cancer cells, but normal proliferative cells as well. In many cases, a particular chemotherapy is avoided because the risks of side effects greatly outweigh the effect of the drug on the tumor. Therefore, if adverse effects are going to be eliminated and cancer treatment optimized, tumor cells must be specifically targeted and normal cells spared. One method of generating tumor specificity in cancer treatment that has recently gained interest and optimism is the use of medical devices. As technology has improved, the possibilities and applications of medical devices have become nearly limitless. In cancer treatment, medical devices can guide their cargo, whether it is a drug or radiation, directly to tumor sites within the patient. As a result, adverse effects should be diminished and cancer treatment should be optimized.
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