Scientists have recently come up with a new technique of treatment for lung cancer. Will it be successful?
FREMONT, CA: Diagnosis for different kinds of cancers has always been tricky for the doctors. Recently, a technique has been developed a new technique for delivering chemotherapy to the lungs via red blood cells. In this technique, chemotherapy-loaded nanoparticles are bound to the red blood cells and injected into the bloodstream. After reaching the lungs, the red blood cells have to squeeze through the small capillaries. The outcome is a shear force that removes the nanoparticles, which can enter the cells within the lungs. The researchers are anticipating that the method will be able to help them in treating lung metastases with increased efficacy and minimized side-effects as compared to traditional chemotherapy.
Earlier, researchers made use of nanoparticles for reducing the adverse side-effects and improve the chemotherapy’s effectiveness. However, it was not completely successful since it met with a huge roadblock of nanoparticles not being accumulated at tumor sites and quick nanoparticle clearance by spleen and liver. The researchers from Harvard now used the method of ‘trojan horse’ in which the own cells of the body transport nanoparticles for delivering chemotherapy to lung metastases.
The scientists have named this technique as erythrocyte-leveraged chemotherapy (ELeCt). The technique exploits the affected blood vessels to deliver drugs effectively that fight lung metastasis and holds a strong potential to be created into a clinical treatment.
So far, their system has been tested on mice. The researchers created nanoparticles filled with doxorubicin, a common chemotherapy drug, and further incubated them with red blood cells of mouse, where the nanoparticles bound to the cells’ surface. When injected into the mice’s bloodstream with melanoma metastases in their lungs, the nanoparticles get separated from the red blood cells when they passed through the narrow capillaries in the lungs. The outcome of the new system is s 16-fold increase in the amount of doxorubicin in the lungs in comparison with the nanoparticles alone, which resulted in nearly complete inhibition in metastasis and enhanced survival in the mice.
This advancement will considerably minimize the danger to patients with cancer receiving this drug, and enhance its effectiveness against lung tumors.