A group of researchers directed by Hassan Beyzavi at the University of Arkansas have developed a new nano-drug targeting breast cancer cells directly. This is quite unlike chemotherapy, which wreaks havoc on entire body cells. The nano drug candidate has shown success in killing triple-negative breast cancer cells which belong to an aggressive family of breast cancers, a recent study shows.
Potential to replace chemotherapy
While chemotherapy is one of the most commonly used cancer treatments, the side effects cover the whole body and sometimes the treatment itself can be deadly. Hence, the newly developed drug is safer than the mess-maker. Researchers included the fact in their study expressing triple-negative breast cancer is hard to treat with current chemotherapy and demands surgical intervention owing to its possibility of metastasizing rapidly.
The research team also had contributors from different branches such as analytical chemistry, biological sciences, biological and agricultural engineering to analyze every detail to the deepest.
Already existing photodynamic therapy is basically a two-stage treatment combining light energy with a photosensitizer drug developed to destroy cells that are cancerous or precancerous after the light is activated, defines Mayo Clinic.
Photosensitizers become active when subjected to a specific wavelength of light energy. Photosensitizers appear to be nontoxic until activation, later on, they become deadly for the unwelcome tissue.
The recently designed drug consists of a new range of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) combined with the ligands of an already existing photodynamic therapy, which had been developed earlier, to generate a nano-porous material targeting and killing hazardous cells with possessing no danger for healthy body cells, EurekAlert! reports.
"Patients with triple-negative cancer are especially vulnerable, because of the toxic side effects of the only approved treatment for this type of cancer," Beyzavi shared his thoughts to EurekAlert and added, "We've addressed this problem by developing a co-formulation that targets cancer cells and has no effect on healthy cells."