Selective in vivo metabolic cell-labeling-mediated cancer targeting

Journal: Nature Chemical Biology

Published: 2017-02-13

DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.2297

Affiliations: 13

Authors: 21

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Research Highlight

Sorting out cancer cells

© Martin Konopka /EyeEm/Getty

© Martin Konopka /EyeEm/Getty

Identifying the difference between normal and malignant cells is essential for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer using targeted therapies. Now, a China-US team has engineered sugars in a new way to tag cancerous cells.

Targeted therapies use markers on the surfaces of cancer cells for which antibodies can be designed to target and deliver treatments. But using current methods, this doesn’t work for all cancers.

The team, including researchers from the Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Soochow University, has developed a new method to mark cancer cells for treatment using glycoengineered small-molecule sugars that can be targeted with a molecule known as DBCO.

The system was successfully tested in mice on tumours caused by several forms of cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer, for which present target therapies don't work well and for which survival rates are very low. The researchers say it’s the first time tumours have been successfully labelled and targeted using small-molecule sugars.

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  1. Nature Chemical Biology 13, 415–424 (2017). doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2297
Institutions Share
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), United States of America (USA) 0.80
Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials and Devices, Soochow University, China 0.10
University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China 0.05
CAS Key Laboratory of Polymer Ecomaterials, CIAC CAS, China 0.05
Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (FS-MRL), UIUC, United States of America (USA) 0.01

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