Scientists have demonstrated that that mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), tiny particles with thousands of pores, can store and deliver chemotherapeutic drugs in vivo and effectively suppress tumors in mice.
Researchers at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center also showed that MSNs accumulate almost exclusively in tumors after administration and that the nanoparticles are excreted from the body after they have delivered their chemotherapeutic drugs.
In the study, researchers found that MSNs circulate in the bloodstream for extended periods of time and accumulate predominantly in tumors.
The tumor accumulation could be further improved by attaching a targeting moiety to MSNs, the researchers said.
The treatment of mice with camptothecin-loaded MSNs led to shrinkage and regression of xenograft tumors.
By the end of the treatment, the mice were essentially tumor free, and acute and long-term toxicity of MSNs to the mice was negligible.
The study has been published July 8 in the journal Small.