Researchers help in search for new ways to image, therapeutically target melanoma
Because the incidence of malignant melanoma is rising faster than any other cancer in the U.S., researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., and colleagues at Tampa-based Intezyne Technologies, Inc., Western Carolina University and the University of Arizona are working overtime to develop new technologies to aid in both malignant melanoma diagnosis and therapy. A tool of great promise comes from the world of nanomedicine where tiny drug delivery systems are measured in the billionths of meters and are being designed to deliver targeted therapies.
Which therapies are appropriate to be loaded into nano-sized vehicles to attach to the right receptors for targeting purposes is an issue.
"Melanoma progression is associated with altered expression of cell surface proteins, including adhesion proteins and receptors," said study co-author David L. Morse, Ph.D., whose work at Moffitt includes experimental therapeutics and diagnostic imaging. "Eighty percent of malignant melanomas express high levels of the MC1R receptor, one of a family of five receptors."
Their study, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, tested the family of receptors, including MC1R, to find out which receptors would respond best when the right ligand was loaded into a nano-sized spherical delivery device resembling a Koosh Ball called a "micelle."
According to study co-author Robert J. Gillies, Ph.D., director of Molecular and Functional Imaging and vice chair of Radiology Research at Moffitt, MC1R has been in the past investigated as a target for selective imaging and for potential therapeutic agents and is known to play a role in skin pigmentation and hair color. The search for the right "ligand" (a substance that forms a complex with a biomolecule) for use in targeting the right receptor, is ongoing.
"The development of ligands that can be attached to micelles and/or nanoparticles to target cancer cells relative to healthy organs is a subject of great research and great potential," said Gilles.
However, failures in this effort can emerge when attachments lose affinity, when poor stability results in collapse before the nano-sized vehicle gets to the vicinity of the tumor, or when the nanoparticle size is too big to escape the body's vascular system. Each issue needs to be addressed, said Gillies.
In this study, Gilles and Morse and colleagues tested one ligand that was found to have "high affinity and selectivity" for MC1R. That ligand was subsequently modified for attachment to a polymer micelle. Noting the three hurdles to be overcome ligand affinity, nanoparticle stability and right nanoparticle size the authors concluded that their chosen ligand "remained selective after attachment" and that the increased binding affinity of the ligand to MC1R demonstrated the stability of the system.
"We are also confident that our micelles are of sufficient size to escape the vasculature, and studies in mice are underway to evaluate the selectivity and stability of this targeted micelle system," concluded Morse.
The Moffitt researchers and their colleagues also feel that this development is a step in the right direction toward more effective imaging of malignant melanoma as well as the development of better targeted therapies for individualized treatment of the disease using nano-sized drug delivery systems.
Provided by H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
- Study challenges conventional theory of modern drug design Oct 10, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Nano-Vehicle acts as cluster bomb for tumors Sep 18, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Super-mini vehicles carry therapeutics and imaging agents into body with mega results Jun 07, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Nanoparticle therapeutics might help people suffering from hearing disorders Jun 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Dark hair? Don't burn? Your genes may still put you at risk for melanoma Apr 21, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
High blood glucose is associated with poor outcomes in hospitalized patients, and use of intensive insulin therapy (IIT) to control hyperglycemia is a common practice in hospitals. But the recent evidence does not show a ...
Other 22 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0
Two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is published online ahead of print in the Journal of ...
Other May 23, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) new medical school will be pioneering the use of plastinated bodies for medical education in Singapore.
Other May 23, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
A 2012 survey of internal medicine residents at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) – one of the nation's leading teaching hospitals – found that more than half rated the training they had received in addiction and other ...
Other May 22, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Early use of tracheostomy for mechanically ventilated patients not associated with improved survival
For critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation, early tracheostomy (within the first 4 days after admission) was not associated with an improvement in the risk of death within 30 days compared to patients who ...
Other May 21, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
8 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Patients with diabetes who are depressed are much more likely to develop episodes of dangerously low blood sugars, or hypoglycemia, than are those who are not depressed, a new study has ...
14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |