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Delivering cancer a knockout blow

Photo by Ivan Pergasi on Unsplash

Researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have developed a cost-effective biodegradable system to transport anticancer drugs directly to tumour cells. In tests the team demonstrated the nanocarriers can be fitted with a variety of chemotherapeutics to directly target cancer cells.

“We used a simple approach and readily available low-cost materials to prepare biocompatible and biodegradable pH-responsive hybrid nanoparticles for the effective delivery of chemotherapeutics specifically to tumor cells,” said Loganathan Palanikumar, a research associate in the Magzoub lab and first author of the study. “Thus, unlike many nanocarriers, which require complex chemistry and costly equipment and materials, our nanoparticles can be easily prepared and used by other researchers, even those with limited resources.”

The NYUAD scientists discovered that when these nanoparticles were fuelled with drugs there was ‘potent anticancer activity’ that resulted in a reduction in tumour volume and mass.

“These novel pH-responsive hybrid nanoparticles are a highly promising cancer drug delivery platform that combines high stability with effective tumor targeting and triggered release of chemotherapeutic agents in cancer cells,” added NYUAD Assistant Professor of Biology Mazin Magzoub.

The fight against cancer is gaining momentum, with new breakthroughs almost daily pointing to a world that can one day become cancer-free. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, for example, have developed a simple and potentially more accurate test for detecting prostate cancer; and researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have pioneered a 3D printed device that could help transform personalised cancer care. While earlier this month Johnston Milner, a renowned biotech ‘super-angel’, said the first curative and affordable cell therapy for all solid tumours that is currently being progressed by  LIfT BioSciences is the ‘most promising cancer therapy he has come across to date’.

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Iain Robertson
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