01:48pm Monday 17 February 2020

New Combo Drug Nanoparticle Could Improve Cancer Treatment

However, the effective administration of  more than one drug can be challenging due to difficulties reaching the cancer  cells with the appropriate amount of each drug.  Developments in  nanotechnology have begun to address this issue with recent research  illustrating how nanoparticles are able to carry drugs and target cancer cells  specifically.  In new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH),  researchers have developed a nanoparticle capable of codelivering, or carrying  two different drugs with entirely different physicochemical properties,  directly to a prostate cancer cell and controlling the release of these drugs  into the cell to maximize their effectiveness.  This research is  published online in the Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science during the week  of October 4, 2010 and in an upcoming print edition.  

“Many cancer  treatments require the administration of two drugs, but the current method for  administering these drugs depends on the individual drug’s characteristics and  often doesn’t reach the target – the cancer cell.  With the nanoparticle  construct we describe in this research, we are laying the foundation for the  potential to drastically improve the delivery of cancer therapies.  Use  of the nanoparticle has the potential to allow for the effective, controlled  delivery of a variety of combination therapies directly to the cancer cell,”  said Nagesh Kolishetti, a researcher in the Laboratory of Nanomedicine and  Biomaterials at BWH.  

In experiments performed in cell cultures,  researchers achieved successful codelivery of two separate chemotherapy drugs  with varying physical and chemical properties by developing a polymer to which  the drugs could be attached and blending this polymer during the self assembly  of  the nanoparticle.  The nanoparticle is able to target the  membrane of a prostate cancer cell, become absorbed in the cell, and then  release the drugs in a controlled fashion.  

“We are excited about the potential that this finding unlocks and to explore different drug combinations that can be used for other cancers and beyond,” said Omid  Farohkzad, MD, director of the Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Biomaterials at  BWH and senior author on the paper.  MIT Institute Professor Robert  Langer and Stephen Lippard, the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry at  MIT, are also senior authors of the paper.

More research is needed to  explore both the potential drug combinations and the feasibility of  translating this technology to clinical therapies.

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