Nanoparticles are tiny bits of metal and other materials that spark a lot of enthusiasm in the cancer research world because the particles can be precisely targeted to a tumor and therefore need lower doses to be effective. This translates into fewer side effects for patients.
Now there's more. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas have developed a targeted nanocapsule system that delivers two cancer therapies simultaneously: the chemotherapy agent doxorubicin and heat therapy (hyperthermia).
"The great thing about our magnetic, nanoparticle-assembled capsule, explains lead researcher John McGary, "is that it's a multifunctional device that can be used simultaneously to release the desired drug concentration at the tumor site while heating up the tumor cells."
The system is based on nanoparticle-assembled capsules (NACs), structures that form themselves as a result of their chemical properties. The capsules contain the chemotherapy agent doxorubicin. An external magnetic field passed over the nanocapsule releases doxorubicin and also heats up the NAC solution, heating the tumor cells to more than 50 C to kill them.
NACs have been tested in the lab to study the release and heating rates. Future studies will test cell culture and animal studies, Dr. McGary says.
The presentation "Nanoparticle Assembled Capsules for Target Drug Delivery, Controlled Release and Hyperthermia" by J McGary et al. will be at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 18 in the exhibit hall of the Philadelphia Convention Center.
This research was supported by the Mike Hogg fund and Golfers Against Cancer.
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|Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi|
American Institute of Physics