Team pioneers cancer treatment that targets bone metastases while sparing bone

cancer
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

University of California, Irvine researchers have developed and tested on mice a therapeutic treatment that uses engineered stem cells to target and kill cancer bone metastases while preserving the bone.

This new approach, reported in the journal EBioMedicine, equips engineered mesenchymal with targeting agents that drive them to bone metastatic sites, where they offload therapeutics.

"What's powerful about this strategy is that we deliver a combination of both anti-tumor and anti-bone resorption agents so we can effectively block the vicious circle between cancers and their bone niche," said the study's lead author, Weian Zhao, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and biomedical engineering. "This is a safe and almost nontoxic treatment compared to chemotherapy, which often leaves patients with lifelong issues."

Sandra Spivey, an Orange County patient advocate who has been living with metastatic breast cancer since 1997, has experienced firsthand the ravages of traditional treatment. "Chemotherapy can kill both and normal cells and create drastic side effects," she said. "I have lost my hair; I have lost sensation in my hands and feet. Most of all, chemotherapy really robs you of your time. This new targeted approach could improve quality of life both during and after treatment."

The strategy could also be implemented with other bone diseases that are usually difficult to manage, such as multiple myeloma and osteoporosis.

"This study will pave the way to a clinical trial in the short term, as this type of stem cell has already been tested and deemed safe in the clinic," Zhao said. "UCI's Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center are fully equipped to conduct this type of clinical trial. We will look to target patients with bone metastases."


Explore further

Stem cell therapy attacks cancer by targeting unique tissue stiffness

More information: Aude I. Segaliny et al, Combinatorial targeting of cancer bone metastasis using mRNA engineered stem cells, EBioMedicine (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.06.047
Journal information: EBioMedicine

Citation: Team pioneers cancer treatment that targets bone metastases while sparing bone (2019, July 8) retrieved 17 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-07-team-cancer-treatment-bone-metastases.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

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