Research Team Succeeds in Delivering Drug to the Placenta
The biggest worry of a pregnant woman is whether there will be complications and how serious they are going to be, since they can affect a newborn’s health and even be proven to be fatal for the fetus. According to medical experts, about 1 in every 10 pregnancies includes complications that can cause things like pre-eclampsia, a condition during which the blood pressure of the mother rises over the normal levels and there is also unusually high retention of fluids.
The majority of the aforementioned pregnancy issues are caused by certain anomalies or operation errors of the placenta. The significance of this organ is huge since it allows the mother to offer nutrients to the fetus through it. So, it is more than obvious that any fault that may appear is nearly impossible to correct since even the slightest wrong “meddling” could have devastating effects. However, this may soon change.
A team of medical researchers from the Manchester University of the United Kingdom has managed to target a mother’s placenta with the required drug with no side effects at all.
Lynda Harris, the lead researcher of the team stated that the philosophy behind this endeavor is to treat the placenta like a tumor. As macabre as it may sound, the placenta has a lot of things in common with tumors that form in our bodies. It can grow really fast and it is excellent in tricking the immune system so that it is not attacked at all. Plus, the drug delivery is also identical. Just like when treating a tumor, the drug that is destined for the placenta needs to be strictly confined there and not affect any of the surrounding areas of the mother’s body or the fetus.
This is huge news for future mothers all over the world. In order to make the significance of this achievement comprehensible to everyone, all we need to do is mention that in the past two decades only one drug has been granted a license to be used during a woman’s pregnancy period.
Once again, science allows us to overcome a very big obstacle which, when being severe, has devastating effects to both the child and the mother, whether they are physical or psychological in the form of anxiety and stress. It is our first step towards the goal of being able to “erase” even the hints of a possible disease or medical condition that could affect the fetus or the mother during pregnancy or while giving birth.