ARTICLE | Tools & Techniques

Confluent: Low tech isn't no tech

October 30, 2000 8:00 AM UTC

The mainstays of traditional cancer therapy have been surgical excision, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Cutting edge developments in research and trials involve the development of specific or autologous cancer vaccines, anti-angiogenic factors to prevent vascularization and growth, and targeted treatment using tumor specific antibodies either to localize immune stimulating cytokines, enhance radiation therapy, or trigger tumor specific apoptosis. Confluent Surgical Inc. is looking at ways to use the old tried-and-true chemotherapeutic agents with new localization technology to create a better mousetrap without the risk inherent in new biologics.

Confluent (Waltham, Mass.) is developing polyethylene glycol-based polymers that create a gel instantaneously upon mixing of two liquid preparations. The polymers are more than 95 percent water, and the active ingredients are synthetic and non-immunogenic. While Confluent is focusing first on polymers used locally to prevent post-surgical adhesions and scarring, the company is looking for partners to develop anti-cancer products based on the principle of localization...