As cancer maintains its standing as the second leading cause of death in the U.S., researchers have continued their quest for safer and more effective treatments. Among the most promising advances has been the rise of nanomedicine, the application of tiny materials and devices whose sizes are measured in the billionths of a meter to detect, diagnose and treat disease.
A new research review co-authored by a
The article, by
"Manufacturing, safety and toxicity studies that will be accepted by the
Compared with other available therapies, nanomedicine has proven to be especially promising in fighting cancer. In preclinical trials, nanomaterials have produced safer and more effective imaging and drug delivery, and they have enabled researchers to precisely target tumors while sparing patients' healthy tissue. In addition, nanotechnology has significantly improved the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging, making hard-to-find cancers easier to detect.
"A broad spectrum of innovative vehicles is being developed by the cancer nanomedicine community for targeted drug delivery and imaging systems," said Dr. Ho, the paper's corresponding author and co-director of the Jane and
Ho's team previously pioneered the development of a nanodiamond-doxorubicin compound named NDX. In preclinical studies conducted with Chow, NDX was found to be safer and more effective than unmodified doxorubicin, a clinical standard, for treating breast, liver and other cancer models.
Ho and Chow's new report features multiple studies in which the use of nanoparticles was translated from the preclinical to the clinical stage. In several of the highlighted studies, nanotechnology-modified drugs showed improvements over conventional, drug-only approaches because of their ability to overcome drug resistance (which occurs when tumors reject the drug and stop responding to treatment), to more effective tumor reduction, among other advantages.
The authors also describe how algorithm-based methods that rapidly determine the best drug combinations, and computation-based methods that draw information from databases of drug interactions and side effects, to help rationally design drug combinations could potentially be paired with nanomedicine to deliver multiple nano-therapies together to further improve the potency and safety of cancer treatments.
"This research review by Dr. Ho and his colleagues lays the groundwork for nanomedicine to become a widely accepted cancer therapy," said Dr.
Dr. Ho, also a professor of bioengineering and a member of the
Research conducted by the teams of Ho and Chow has been funded by the
TNS 30TagarumaMar-131219-4583883 30TagarumaMar
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