"Nanomedicine 50,000 times smaller than an ant delivers treatments directly to tumors!

Scientists have developed a cure for cancer that is 50,000 times smaller than that of an ant, and they hope it will be a breakthrough.

Nanovectors, microscopic particles invisible to the human eye, are being used to deliver new immunotherapeutics and existing chemotherapy drugs.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh hope the treatment will ease some of the side effects associated with traditional cancer treatments.

The new treatment works by stopping the production of an immune protein that is inhibited in cancer patients and allows tumors to grow and spread.

It also delivers a super-targeted dose of chemotherapy directly to the cancer through a swarm of nanoparticles that attach to the tumor itself.

Chemotherapy works by killing fast-growing cancer cells, but often mistakenly attacks normal cells in other parts of the body, causing serious side effects.

This lack of specificity also means that chemotherapy can leave cancer cells behind, which will begin to multiply again and may lead to a relapse.

And in a study of mice with colon and pancreatic cancer, treatment “significantly” reduced tumor size.

“Our research has two innovative aspects: the discovery of a new therapeutic target and a new nanocarrier that is highly effective in the selective delivery of immunotherapeutic and chemotherapeutic drugs,” said Dr. Song Li, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. “We don’t yet know if our approach works in patients, but our results show it has a lot of potential.”

In a study published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the Pittsburgh team developed a new immunotherapy called siRNA that turns off a protein called Xkr8.

In people with cancer, chemotherapy causes small molecules known as the lipid phosphatidylserine (PS) to move from the inner layer of cancer cell membranes to the cell surface.

PS acts as an immunosuppressant on the surface, protecting trapped cancer cells from the immune system.

The team discovered that Xkr8 is the gene involved in this process in a separate study last year.

Nanotherapy works in two ways: by turning off Xkr8 and then delivering chemotherapy directly to the tumor.

And when tested in mice, those who received the exact treatment produced more cancer-fighting T cells.

In contrast, mice treated with chemotherapy and immunotherapy showed a significant reduction in tumor size compared to mice treated with only one treatment.

Source: Daily Mail