Triple drug nanoparticle delivery may lead to better cancer treatments
Scientists from Oregon State Universityhave developed a new delivery system for cancer treatment thatattacks the condition simultaneously with three different drugs.According to the team, it's likely to prove particularly effectiveagainst cancers that spread through the lymphatic system, such asmetastatic melanoma.
New prototype treatments with thepotential to greatly improve our ability to tackle different cancershave been arriving thick and fast in 2015. In just the last weekwe've seen a University of Illinois study look at combining cancerdrug-carrying nanobubbles and ultrasound waves to attack tumors inthe liver, and a new triple helix microRNA treatment from MIT. Now,Oregon State University researchers believe they have a new way oftackling cancers that travel through the lymphatic system.
The new method makes use ofnanoparticles, measuring just 48 nm, that have the ability to travelthrough the lymphatic system and attack cancer cells in lymph nodes.The nanoparticles were loaded with 2 mg of three different cancer-fighting drugs, each of which remained stable for 24 hours.
The treatment is particularly targetedtowards melanomas, some 80 percent of which metastasize through the lymphatic system. Such conditions are difficult to treat, with largevolumes of cancerous cells building up in lymph nodes.
The researchers used laboratory mice totest the delivery method.After being injected, the particles behaved as hoped, movingprimarily into the cancer-filled lymph nodes, working together tomaximize treatment impact. The team wasn't able to identify anynegative effects of the treatment, with the drug travelling effectively through the system and significantly lowering the number of melanoma cells.
The method is promising, as it allowsfor a targeted treatment of the lymphatic system without creatinghigh levels of toxicity – one of the big problems with othertreatments such as chemotherapy. The use of the nanoparticle deliveryalso improves drug circulation time, and the delivery of threemedications at once lowers the system's ability to build upresistance to treatment.
Lab-based trials of the method are justbeginning, with future studies using more aggressive cancers andeventually human trials, which are necessary to assess its overalleffectiveness and safety. Providing everything goes to plan, theresearchers believe the method could become a new and effective wayof treating any cancer that moves through the lymphatic system, whichincludes everything from melanomas to prostate and lung cancers.
The researchers published the findingsof their study in the Journal of Controlled Release.
Source: Oregon State University