‘Trojan horse’ particle sneaks chemotherapy in to kill ovarian cancer cells

Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London have delivered a common chemotherapy drug to cancer cells inside tiny microparticles. The drug reduced ovarian cancer tumors in an animal model by 65 times more than using the standard method. This approach is now being developed for clinical use.

The lead researcher Dr Ateh and colleagues found that by coating tiny microparticles of around 0.5 μm diameter with a special protein called CD95, they trigger cancer cells into ingesting these particles and deliver a dose of a common chemotherapy drug called paclitaxel.

The key to their success is that CD95 attaches to another protein called CD95L, which is found much more commonly on the surface of cancer cells than it is on normal healthy cells. Once attached, the cancer cells ingest CD95 and the microparticle with it. Inside the cell, the microparticle can unload its chemotherapy cargo, which kills the cell to reduce the size of the tumor.

The researchers are now advancing these studies and the start-up company BioMoti, which will develop the technology for clinical use, is planning to partner with established pharmaceutical companies for the clinical development of new treatments in specific types of cancer.

Ref.: Davidson D. Ateh et al., The intracellular uptake of CD95 modified paclitaxel-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticles, Biomaterials, August 2011

Source | KurzweilAI

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