Posted on Aug 05, 2015, 6 a.m.
Nanoparticles target and kill cancer stem cells and tumor growth.
Anti-cancer drugs can often shrink tumors but don't kill cancer stem cells (CSCs) – which numerically comprise a small part of tumor but tend to be resistant to drugs, allows them to persist and cause a tumor to regrow or spread cancerous cells throughout the body. Xiaoming He, from The Ohio State University (Ohio, USA), and colleagues devised a novel nanoparticle system to overcome these cells' defenses. The researchers packaged the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin into nanoparticles coated with chitosan, a natural polysaccharide that can specifically target CSCs. Once in the acidic environment of the tumor, the nanoparticles degraded and released the drug. Tests on tiny, tissue-like clumps of both This normal and cancer stem cells in vitro and on human breast tumors grown in mice showed the therapy successfully killed CSCs and destroyed tumors. Writing that: “We further show these nanoparticles reduced the size of tumors in an orthotopic xenograft tumor model with no evident systemic toxicity,” the study authors submit that: “The development of nanoparticle system to target cancer stem-like cells with low systemic toxicity provides a new treatment arsenal for improving the survival of cancer patients.”
Wei Rao, Hai Wang, Jianfeng Han, Shuting Zhao, Jenna Dumbleton, Pranay Agarwal, Wujie Zhang, Gang Zhao, Jianhua Yu, Debra L. Zynger, Xiongbin Lu, Xiaoming He. Chitosan-Decorated Doxorubicin-Encapsulated Nanoparticle Targets and Eliminates Tumor Reinitiating Cancer Stem-like Cells. ACS Nano. 2015 Jun 23;9(6):5725-40.