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Medicine Science

Using Nanoparticles To Improve Chemotherapy 35

sciencehabit writes with good news involving cancer research. From the article: "Chemotherapy drugs are like a shotgun. Even though doctors are just aiming for tumors, the compounds hit a variety of other places in the body, leading to side effects like bone marrow damage and hair loss. To improve their aim, researchers have tried to package these drugs inside tiny hollow nano-sized containers that can be directed toward tumors and bypass healthy tissues. But the size, shape, and makeup of these 'nanoparticles' can drastically affect where and when they are taken up. Now, scientists have surveyed the landscape of some 100 different nanoparticle formulations and shown that when a conventional chemotherapeutic drug is packaged inside the best of these nanoparticles, it proves considerably more effective at fighting prostate cancer (summary; article paywalled) in animals than the drug alone."
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Using Nanoparticles To Improve Chemotherapy

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  • by reverseengineer ( 580922 ) on Friday April 06, 2012 @02:05PM (#39599795)
    Depends on what the material of the nanoparticles is. The PEG-PLA system used in this study doesn't tend to accumulate, and in fact the lactic acid from the breakdown of PLA can be metabolized. Similarly, the drug Abraxane, already on the market, uses nanoparticles of human serum albumin. In terms of the liver and kidneys getting exposed to the released drug, yes, that is a hazard, but one that exists regardless of the delivery method. Using nanoparticles can greatly increase the solubility and bioavailability of many drugs so that less can be used.

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