Lung cancer causes a lot of deaths among smokers and non-smokers. It can be caused by many factors, including pollution and passive tobacco inhalation. Non-small cell cancer (NSCLC) is the most common and deadly type of cancer, due to the fact that it is difficult to treat. 36% of patients have a 5-years survival rate in case of 3A stage tumors.
Nowadays, researchers from Jefferson College of Pharmacy are working on the development of a new treatment. Their approach is based on nanotechnology and, so far, it has proven its efficiency on mice. Their findings were recently published in the Molecular Pharmaceutics Journal.
How does the innovative treatment work
According to scientists, these nanoparticles were designed especially for stalling the tumor’s growth and make it more suitable for chemotherapy. This is possible due to a molecule called microRNA 29b , but this particle would be inefficient without other two elements.
Since microRNA 29b can get into the human system only by injection, it rapidly degrades in the bloodstream or is removed by immune cells. In order to prevent this, Sunday Shoyele, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Jefferson and colleagues managed to create a nanoparticle made of four parts.
First, they included immunoglobulin G (IgG), a human antibody that can keep the particle in the immune system. Second, the team added an antigen, MUC1, which guides the nanoparticles towards the lung tumors. The final step was to stick the three components together with a polymer called Poloxamer-188.
The result is a spherical nanoparticle that has the unique capacity of finding the tumors and shrinking them. So far, the treatment has been tested on mice and the results were good. Before they will proceed with applying it on humans, the scientists have to run additional tests.
Let’s follow their progress, because their discovery is very important!