A new way to deliver drugs using nanotherapy may help fight cancerous tumors.
Researchers from Washington State University have found a way to attach a drug to a blood cell to attack tumors.
This strategy could make headway with anticancer drugs that might otherwise damage healthy tissue.
The researchers attached an extremely small nanotherapeutic particle—so small that 1,000 of them would fit across the width of a hair—to an infection-fighting white blood cell to show that the drug can get by the armor of blood vessels shielding the tumor.
This technique could be used by attaching an anticancer drug like doxorubicin to the nanoparticle and then directly delivering the drug to the tumor to avoid damaging nearby tissues.
“We have developed a new approach to deliver therapeutics into tumors using the white blood cells of our body,” Zhenjia Wang, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, said in a statement. “This will be applied to deliver many anticancer drugs, such as doxorubicin, and we hope that it could increase the efficacy of cancer therapies compared to other delivery systems.”
To test this method, Wang implanted a tumor on the flank of a mouse and exposed the tumor to near-infrared light, causing an inflammation that released proteins to attract white blood cells called neutrophils, into the tumor.
The mouse was then injected with gold nanoparticles treated with antibodies that mediate the union of the nanoparticles and neutrophils. According to Wang, the light’s interaction with the gold nanoparticles produced heat that killed the tumor cells when the tumor was exposed to the infrared light.
According to the study, the remodeling of tumor microenvironments enables enhanced delivery of nanoparticles. The results show that by promoting tumor infiltration of neutrophils by manipulating tumor microenvironments could be a new strategy to actively deliver nanotherapeutics in cancer therapies.
The study was published in Advanced Materials.