Skip to comments.Nanotechnology platform shows promise for treating pancreatic cancer
Posted on 03/24/2015 10:09:03 AM PDT by Patriot777
Scientists at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have combined their nanotechnology expertise to create a new treatment that may solve some of the problems of using chemotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer.
The study, published online in the journal ACS Nano, describes successful experiments to combine two drugs within a specially designed mesoporous silica nanoparticle that looks like a glass bubble. The drugs work together to shrink human pancreas tumors in mice as successfully as the current standard treatment, but at one twelfth the dosage. This lower dosage could reduce both the cost of treatment and the side effects that people suffer from the current method.
The study was led by Dr. Huan Meng, assistant adjunct professor of medicine, and Dr. Andre Nel, distinguished professor of medicine, both at the Jonsson Cancer Center.
Pancreatic cancer, a devastating disease with a five-year survival rate of 5 percent, is difficult to detect early and symptoms do not usually appear until the disease is advanced. As a result, many people are not diagnosed until their tumors are beyond the effective limits of surgery, leaving chemotherapy as the only viable treatment option. The chemotherapy drug most often used for pancreas cancer is gemcitabine, but its impact is often limited.
Recent research has found that combining gemcitabine with another drug called paclitaxel can improve the overall treatment effect. In the current method, Abraxanea nano complex containing paclitaxeland gemcitabine are given separately, which works to a degree, but because the drugs may stay in the body for different lengths of time, the combined beneficial effect is not fully synchronized.
"The beauty of the silica nanoparticle technology is that gemcitabine and paclitaxel are placed together in one special lipid-coated nanoparticle at the exact ratio that makes them synergistic with one another when co-delivered at the cancer site, giving us the best possible outcome by using a single drug carrier," Meng said. "This enables us to reduce the dose and maintain the combinatorial effect."
After the scientists constructed the silica nanoparticles, they suspended them in blood serum and injected them into mice that had human pancreas tumors growing under their skin. Other mice with tumors were given injections of saline solution (a placebo with no effect), gemcitabine (the treatment standard), and gemcitabine and Abraxane (an FDA-approved combination shown to improve pancreas cancer survival in humans).
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-nanotechnology-platform-pancreatic-cancer.html#jCp
Encouraging news. Thanks for posting.
My Dad just had a failed whipple procedure for PDAC. Doc gave him 8 mos without chemo. He is at home in hospice care now.
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May God bless you and your dad. I hope he is feeling comfortable at home and enjoying every moment, as much as possible, with you and family and friends by his side.
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