- Smart nanoparticles engineered to travel through lung tumor blood vessels and deliver drugs specifically
- Reduced side effects and increased concentration of drug delivered to tumor cells in animal models
- ‘Organ Restricted Vascular Delivery’ (ORVD) is a new treatment for lung cancer
Smart nanoparticles are engineered to target lung cancer blood vessels. They deliver a high concentration of the drugs directly to lung tumors, killing them and reducing side effects. This technique is called as Organ Restricted Vascular Delivery(ORVD) and shows promising results in animal models. This research group is the first to observe nanoparticles in lung cancer cells.
What are the Hurdles Faced during Treatment of Lung Cancer?There are multiple problems when it comes to treating lung cancer and the two most important include that they are multiplied by the time they are diagnosed and are difficult to eradicate surgically. In addition, the small size makes them difficult to detect.
Another problem is that the barriers developed by the tumor cells make it hard for various drugs and immune cells to reach them. Due to these reasons, patients are generally administered with high doses of chemotherapy leading to major side effects in other organs as it circulates through the entire body.
Many studies have been conducted in the lab. However, delivering drugs specifically to lung tumor remains a considerable challenge.
How did the Research Team at Lund University Overcome these Challenges ?Researchers Deniz Bolukbas and Darcy Wagner from the Lung Bioengineering and regeneration group along with colleagues developed a new surgical technique to introduce nanoparticles specifically into the blood vessels of the lung.
The team focusses on designing novel therapies for lung cancer patients by using a multi-disciplinary approach and combining engineering, medicine and cell biology. They took advantage of the differences in blood vessels in tumors and normal organs to deliver nanoparticles directly into large and dense solid lung tumors.
This technique called 'Organ Restricted Vascular Delivery'(ORVD) was tested on animal models which have a complete immune system and resembles the lung tumors in patients.
The researchers were the first group to observe delivered nanoparticles inside the lung tumors.
The nanoparticles were also designed to release their drug upon a specific cue which is only present in the tumor area. The specific release of the nanoparticles reduces the risk of damaging healthy lung cells. It also allows the drug to reach the tumor cells in high concentration resulting in increased toxicity on tumors cells.
The technique Organ Restricted Vascular Delivery is a new twist to an old technique called 'isolated lung perfusion,' this technique involved the direct administration of various chemotherapeutic drugs into the blood vessels of the lungs. It is considered surgically safe but the only disadvantage of this technique was the harmful effects of the chemotherapeutics on the healthy tissues surrounding the lung cancer cells.
The research team made use of this surgical technique along with smart nanoparticles to overcome various limitations in the previous treatment.
ConclusionIn summary, the research team believes that the development of this new approach is vital for lung cancer treatment. The results of this experiment need to be further validated by delivering chemotherapeutics in large animal models before making it available for human use.
- Organ‐Restricted Vascular Delivery: Organ‐Restricted Vascular Delivery of Nanoparticles for Lung Cancer Therapy (Adv. Therap. 7/2020) - (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adtp.202070016)