CHICAGO --- How do you annihilate lymphoma without using any drugs?
Starve it to death by depriving it of what appears to be a favorite food: HDL cholesterol.
Northwestern Medicine researchers discovered this with a new nanoparticle that acts like a secret double agent. It appears to the cancerous lymphoma cell like a preferred meal -- natural HDL. But when the particle engages the cell, it actually plugs it up and blocks cholesterol from entering. Deprived of an essential nutrient, the cell eventually dies.
A new study by C. Shad Thaxton, M.D., and Leo I. Gordon, M.D. shows that synthetic HDL nanoparticles killed B-cell lymphoma, the most common form of the disease, in cultured human cells, and inhibited human B-cell lymphoma tumor growth in mice.
The paper will be published Jan. 21 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"This has the potential to eventually become a nontoxic treatment for B-cell lymphoma which does not involve chemotherapy," said Gordon, a co-corresponding author with Thaxton on the paper. "It's an exciting preliminary finding."
Gordon is a professor of medicine in hematology/oncology and Thaxton is an assistant professor of urology, both at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Gordon also is co-director of the hematologic malignancy program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Thaxton is also a member of the Lurie Cancer Center.
Lymphoma Gobbles HDL Cholesterol
Recent studies have shown that B-cell lymphoma is dependent on the uptake of natural HDL -- short for high-density lipoprotein -- from which it derives fat content, such as cholesterol.
The nanoparticle -- originally developed by Thaxton as a possible therapy for heart disease -- closely mimics the size, shape and surface chemistry of natural HDL
|Contact: Marla Paul|