It involves medication based on edelfosine-loaded lipid nanoparticles, and which is taken orally.
The research, published recently in the Nanomedicine UK journal, shows that these nanoparticles are capable of accumulating in the lymphatic ganglia and selectively destroying any tumour cells found therein. Moreover, they enable the secretion of the anti-tumour pharmaceutical drug over time in a sustained manner.
This fact, together with the oral administration of the nanomedicine, obviates the hospital admission required for traditional chemotherapy, administered as it is intravenously. Also, these nanoparticles, “are capable of attacking the diseased cells without damaging the healthy ones; that is, they are selective, low-toxicity pharmaceutical drugs”, stated Ms Blanco, director of the nanotechnologies research line in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Navarra.
Treating mantle cell lymphoma
The research team studied the efficacy of these therapeutic nanosystems in mice, to which mantle cell lymphoma had been previously implanted. This disease is at present incurable and its progress is variable for each patient but, in general, the average global survival period is only three or four years. The results of this study has shown that the administration of edelfosine nanoparticles every four days is as efficacious as a daily dosage of a non-nanoparticle pharmaceutical drug in reducing the size of the tumour of the mantle cell lymphoma implanted in the mice.
Nevertheless, according to Doctor Ander Estella, project research worker alongside Doctor Blanco, the most surprising result was observed on analysing the antimetastatic capacity of the nanoparticles with edelfosine, given that, while daily administration of a non-nanoparticle pharmaceutical drug reduced the metastases by 50%, administration every four days of edelfosine-loaded nanoparticles eliminated 100% of these lymphatic metastases.
The results of this research open a new door for the research into and development of the treatment of various types of cancer, which are more efficacious and safer for patients (good results were obtained in animal models with glioma and the efficacy of nanosystems are currently being tested in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and breast cancer).