Cancer medication delivery via nanoparticles shows increase in overall mice survival time

31 Dec 2016 by under Research/Treatment

491px UHVSTMinside 100x100 Cancer medication delivery via nanoparticles shows increase in overall mice survival timeThe solution to a more effective form of cancer drug delivery may just come in a nanosized package.

Medical professionals, chemists and biomedical engineers from Boston University and Harvard Medical School have reported successful testing of special expanding nanoparticles that delivered high doses of the drug paclitaxel into mice with mesothelioma cancer, according to Surviving Mesothelioma.

Nanoparticles are microscopic, three times smaller than some of the body’s smallest cells, according to estimates on, and in medicine, they are primarily used for drug delivery.

The researchers loaded the drug into nanoparticles that are designed to expand in , which are where cancer cells are known to thrive. The expansile nanoparticles () are used to deliver medicine directly to the mesothelioma tumor cells, a must when trying to increase survival time.

“There is an unmet need for new approaches that concentrate drug at the tumor for a prolonged period of time yielding enhanced antitumor efficacy and improved metrics of treatment success,” the study states.

Most patients die within 18 months of their diagnoses because many treatments, including chemotherapy, struggle to deliver a high enough dosage of medication to kill the cancer cells, Surviving Mesothelioma explains. Because the eNPs allow medicine to be delivered specifically to tumors, researchers found that mice cells retained the drug for two weeks. In addition, the drug was only released in an acidic, cancerous environment, reducing damage to healthy cells.

“As a result, overall survival of animals with established mesothelioma more than doubled when animals were treated with multiple doses of PTX-eNPs compared to equivalent dosing with PTX or non-responsive PTX-loaded nanoparticles,” the study concluded.

Ideally the use of eNPs in the treatment of mice with mesothelioma can be further expanded to benefit humans.


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