Researchers deliver first 'nanotherapeutics' to tumor

May 15, 2017 by Eric Sorensen, Washington State University

For the first time, WSU researchers have demonstrated a way to deliver a drug to a tumor by attaching it to a blood cell. The innovation could let doctors target tumors with anticancer drugs that might otherwise damage healthy tissues.

To develop the treatment, a team led by Zhenjia Wang, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, worked at the using a nanotherapeutic particle so small that 1,000 of them would fit across the width of a hair. By attaching a nanoscale particle to an infection-fighting white blood cell, the team showed they can get a drug past the armor of blood vessels that typically shield a . This has been a major challenge in nanotechnology drug delivery.

The researchers reported on the technique in the latest issue of the journal Advanced Materials.

Working with colleagues in Spokane and China, Wang implanted a tumor on the flank of a mouse commonly chosen as a model for human diseases. The tumor was exposed to near-infrared light, causing an inflammation that released proteins to attract white blood cells, called neutrophils, into the tumor.

The researchers then injected the mouse with treated with antibodies that mediate the union of the nanoparticles and neutrophils. When the tumor was exposed to infrared light, the light's interaction with the gold nanoparticles produced heat that killed the , Wang said.

In the future, therapists could attach an like doxorubicin to the nanoparticle. This could let them deliver the drug directly to the tumor and avoid damaging nearby tissues, Wang said.

"We have developed a new approach to deliver therapeutics into tumors using the of our body," Wang said. "This will be applied to deliver many anticancer drugs, such as doxorubicin, and we hope that it could increase the efficacy of cancer therapies compared to other delivery systems."

Explore further: Targeting cancer cells with an implantable drug delivery system

More information: Dafeng Chu et al, Photosensitization Priming of Tumor Microenvironments Improves Delivery of Nanotherapeutics via Neutrophil Infiltration, Advanced Materials (2017). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201701021

Related Stories

Targeting cancer cells with an implantable drug delivery system

April 20, 2017
An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 242, Issue 7, March, 2017) describes a new drug delivery system for the treatment of cancer. The study, led by Dr. Horst A. von Recum from the Department of ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover novel mechanism linking changes in mitochondria to cancer cell death

February 20, 2018
To stop the spread of cancer, cancer cells must die. Unfortunately, many types of cancer cells seem to use innate mechanisms that block cancer cell death, therefore allowing the cancer to metastasize. While seeking to further ...

Stem cell vaccine immunizes lab mice against multiple cancers

February 15, 2018
Stanford University researchers report that injecting mice with inactivated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) launched a strong immune response against breast, lung, and skin cancers. The vaccine also prevented relapses ...

Induced pluripotent stem cells could serve as cancer vaccine, researchers say

February 15, 2018
Induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, are a keystone of regenerative medicine. Outside the body, they can be coaxed to become many different types of cells and tissues that can help repair damage due to trauma or ...

Team paves the way to the use of immunotherapy to treat aggressive colon tumors

February 15, 2018
In a short space of time, immunotherapy against cancer cells has become a powerful approach to treat cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer. However, to date, most colon tumours appeared to be unresponsive to this kind ...

Can our genes help predict how women respond to ovarian cancer treatment?

February 15, 2018
Research has identified gene variants that play a significant role in how women with ovarian cancer process chemotherapy.

First comparison of common breast cancer tests finds varied accuracy of predictions

February 15, 2018
Commercially-available prognostic breast cancer tests show significant variation in their abilities to predict disease recurrence, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London of nearly 800 postmenopausal women.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.