Researchers develop new nanoparticle that treats solid tumors


Researchers at North Carolina’s Wake Forest University School of Medicine have recently discovered a new possible approach that treats solid tumors through a novel nanoparticle that can be found in several types of cancers such as breast, neck, and colon.

In a research, Dr. Xin Ming, Ph.D, Assoc. Prof. of Cancer at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and his team of researchers utilized a nanoparticle to administer a molecule called ARL67156 to support an anti-tumor immune response in mouse models of head, colon, and neck, and breast cancer which resulted in prolonged survival.

Immunotherapy has supported the cancer treatment, but unfortunately, only 20% of the cancer patients are able to respond to this treatment.

Dr. Ming said that solid tumors generally have weak microenvironment that makes conventional cancer therapeutics unresponsive, including immunotherapy. However, this recent study signifies that nanoparticle therapeutics are very promising.

According to Dr. Ming, the levels of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), an energy-carrying compound, are quite high in tumors that are treated with anti-cancer therapeutics and get quickly crumble into adenosine by several enzymes that are present in the tumors.

The existence of adenosine in solid tumor microenvironments can lead to a poor therapeutic response. A molecule like ARL67156 finds it difficult to enter and pass-through solid tumors due to their low physicochemical properties. However, the newly created nanoparticle's design facilitates the release and accumulation of ARL67156 in solid tumors.

The study found that the nanomedicine has considerably suppressed the growth of tumor and resulted in increased survival, said Ming.

Furthermore, researchers noted that the nanoparticle worked well and synergistically with an anti-PD-1 antibody, a common immunotherapy.

Finally, Ming said that their study suggests that nanoparticle therapeutic has a potential to treat cancers and it might also boost the effectiveness of the current treatments. However, these findings are subjected to further evaluation.

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