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Research Spotlight: Scientists Explore Novel Approaches to Peripheral Artery Disease, Head and Neck Cancer

Dec 29, 2015 10:00AM ● By Med Magazine

The University of South Dakota and Sanford Health are collaborating to develop more effective drug-coated balloons to treat peripheral artery disease. The two new devices, which can more precisely deliver drugs to specific arteries, are based on intellectual property jointly created by Sanford’s Patrick Kelly, MD, and USD’s Gopinath Mani, PhD.


Drug-coated balloons deliver drugs to arteries to repair damaged walls and prevent future 

renarrowing. Traditional balloons release drugs in a burst profile, demanding the use of more balloons and release of medicine to areas not in need of repair. The methods designed by Mani and Kelly use a special coating that can be tailored to time the release of medicine and prevent release of drug while tracking to the target site. They also allow for treatment in multiple arterial segments.


“This time-released method of delivering drugs via balloons is economical and may reduce the amount of unneeded chemo therapeutic agent that enters the body,” said Kelly. “If this technology works the way we think it will, we may also be able to use fewer of these costly balloons.”


At the same time, as part of the multi-phase Profile Ketogenic Clinical Trial, Profile by Sanford and Sanford Research have developed a nutrition plan they hope may improve outcomes for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.


Profile is a low-carbohydrate, low-fat system for weight management. Recent Sanford 

Research studies using a ketogenic, or reduced-sugar, nutrition plan in mouse models have shown promise for cancer therapy. “Cancer cells thrive on sugar; naturally, reducing sugar intake could better equip the body to help fight off progression of the disease,” says Andrew Terrell, MD, head of the new trial.


Study participants will follow the Profile system along with receiving standard cancer treatment therapy. Outcomes will be compared to patients who also received standard cancer treatment therapy but ate a non-regulated diet. Tumor size and various metrics to measure quality of life will be analyzed between the two groups to determine the effectiveness of the ketogenic nutrition plan.