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Nanomedicine solves low-oxygen challenge of tumour targeting
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Special drugs that get activated by light to kill cancer cells have shown immense clinical promise, but remain handicapped by their reliance on oxygen, a molecule often in short supply inside tumours.
A new nanomedicine that combines a light-sensitive drug, a chemotherapeutic and a chemical that helps boost available oxygen levels — all contained within a tiny protein shell — could help solve the oxygen-availability problem.
An international team that included a nanotechnology researcher from the Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology formulated the multiple drug payloads inside of biodegradable nanocapsules and administered the treatment to tumour-bearing mice. They observed synergistic effects between the photodynamic agent and the chemotherapy in tumours both with high and low oxygen levels.
Not only might the specific nanomedicine described warrant further investigation, but the authors propose taking advantage of the broader nanoencapsulation strategy to combine other types of therapeutics that work well together.
- Angewandte Chemie International Edition 59, 20008–20016 (2020). doi: 10.1002/anie.202006649