Lung Cancer is one of the most deadly diseases all around the world. No country has been escaped from it. Scientists have been working towards finding new and effective lung cancer treatments. Researchers from Washington State University and Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) used tiny tubes called peptoids to deliver cancer-killing drugs. The research was published as the cover story in the Journal Small.
This new technology allows two drugs: one for chemotherapy and other for less-invasive photodynamic therapy treatment to be delivered to cancer cells. The researchers utilized dual-drug approach to enable the use of lower dose of lung cancer drugs to effectively kill cancer cells with low toxicity. “By precisely engineering these nanotubes with fluorescent dyes and cancer targeting molecules, scientists can clearly locate tumor cells and track how the drug regimen is performing,” said Yuehe Lin, professor in WSU’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. “We can also track how nanotubes enter and deliver the drugs inside the cancer cell,” he added.
The team of researchers have tested the nanotubes on lung cancer cells and found that they delivered chemotherapy drug directly into cancer cells. This resulted in highly efficient cancer killing with use of less chemotherapy drugs. This approach precisely targets little damage to healthy surrounding cells. While other nanomaterials have delivered and tracked cancer-killing drugs, they are toxic to the body as well. With use of peptoids, they were able to develop highly programmable nanotunes and biocompatible delivery mechanism.
The team is now working towards collaboration opportunities with pharmaceutical companies to extend the research into animal and clinical studies.
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