Nanotechnology is widely applied in drug design to provide more accurate attack with fewer side effects. At present, there are about 50 types of drugs involved with nanotechnology are under development, full of promise to present better treatment experience and result. Here is the latest one aiming to kill cancer cells and inhibit recurring during a surprisingly long period time, which is set to go into the clinical trial stage within about one year.

The novel nanoparticle is centered on doxorubicin (dox), a tumor cells inhibitor. The drug is quite effective in cancer treatment by stopping the duplicating of DNA and then the reproduction of tumor cells; however, doxorubicin can bring adverse effects when the drug molecules go into bloodstream for their damaging character on blood cells. To make use of the medical advantages of dox while eliminating the side effects, scientist team led by Mauro Ferrari from Houston Methodist Research Institute has been working for several years on the development of a nano-carrier to transmit the drug around tumor cells. They did it and porous silicon particles in disk form were presented. Dox were implanted in the particles and could be easily through the blood vessels.

Then new obstacle appeared. The disklike nanoparticle would leak when they get to the places around tumor cell and the drug compounds fail to pass through the cell membrane. A new round of effort was made to address this issue and string carrier was the solution. Doxorubicin molecules were linked together in the form of string before they were fixed into the particles. Once released from the disk, the strings would roll up into a tiny ball with diameters about 20 to 80 nanometers, thus they can enter the protein membrane easily by mingling in the normal chemical exchange of tumor cell.

The string idea provides a solution for the two dominant problems while improve efficiency. The team has taken experiments on mice and positive results were showed. Mice with human metastatic liver and lung tumor cells were injected with the innovative nano-drug and observed. According to the figure showed by the lab, no metastasis sign were detected on about half of the mice that are injected with the drug in a period of eight months, an equivalence of about two decades on human.

It’s quite promising for the drug to be applied in human treatment for cancer with the effect showed in present animal trials. But further studies will be conducted to ensure the safety, but it’s estimated that in about one year, clinic trials will be carried out. Another piece of good news is that once the drug proves safe to be used on human, the center drug can be replaced by many other drugs against other diseases.

The research paper is titled as An injectable nanoparticle generator enhances delivery of cancer therapeutics, with the doi number being 10.1038/nbt.3506.

Author's Bio: 

BOC Sciences is a chemical and related services supplier.As a drug design services provider, the company also pay notice to drugs advancements in various aspects, aiming to provide considerate services and first hand information.