Researchers at the University of Bradford have developed a new treatment for cancer that circulates in the bloodstream and acts as a "smart bomb" by destroying cancerous tissue but leaving the healthy tissue alone.
Currently known by only its code name, ICT2588, the treatment could be used against any type of cancer and should be ready to be tested on humans within the next 2 years. The researchers are currently in talks with an unnamed investor to raise the £3 million needed to get the drug ready before trials.
The researchers said that the drug is not activated until it reaches the cancerous tumor. Once it reaches its destination, it is activated by the enzyme that the tumor uses to attack the surrounding tissue. The drug then destroys the blood vessels vital for the tumor and thereby killing off the tumor.
"What we've designed is, effectively, a 'smart bomb' that can be targeted directly at any solid tumour to kill it without appearing to harm healthy tissue. Our novel delivery method uses the presence of this active MMP to activate the drug, which attacks and breaks down cancer blood vessels, destroying the tumour's lifeline", lead researcher Professor Laurence Patterson