- Scientists have developed an innovative technique that involves a unique way of delivering drugs to a tumor directly.
- The new technique damages only the tumor and spares the nearby tissues.
An innovative way of delivering a drug to a tumor by attaching it to a blood cell has been demonstrated by a research team from the Washington State University.
The research team reported the new technique in the journal Advanced Materials.
The discovery could help doctors to target tumors with anticancer drugs, without damaging the healthy tissues.
A research team led by Zhenjia Wang, assistant professor of Pharmaceutical sciences was found to work with nanotherapeutic particles which were so small that 1000 of them would fit across the size that equals to the width of a hair.
Attaching a nanoscale particle to a white blood cell would help a drug to move past the armor of blood vessels that shield the tumor. This is found to be a major challenge in nanotechnology drug delivery.
Gold Nanoparticles Implanted on a Tumor
Wang implanted a tumor on the flank of a mouse. The tumor was then exposed to near infra-red radiation which causes inflammation and releases proteins to attract white blood cells called neutrophils into the tumor.
The mouse was then injected with gold nanoparticles treated with antibodies. When the tumor was exposed to infrared light, the interaction of gold particles along with light was found to produce heat to kill the tumor cells, Wang said.
Further studies would involve attaching an anticancer drug doxorubicin along with the nanoparticle. This could help them to deliver the drug directly to the tumor and avoid damaging the nearby tissues.
Wang said, "We have developed a new approach to deliver therapeutics into tumors using the white blood cells of our body."
"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."
- Dafeng Chu, Xinyue Dong, Qi Zhao, Jingkai Gu, Zhenjia Wang. Photosensitization Priming of Tumor Microenvironments Improves Delivery of Nanotherapeutics via Neutrophil Infiltration. Advanced Materials, 2017; 1701021 DOI: 10.1002/adma.201701021