The application of nanotechnology in the field of drug delivery has attracted much attention in recent years. In cancer research, nanotechnology holds great promise for the development of targeted, localized delivery of anticancer drugs, in which only cancer cells are affected.
Such targeted-therapy methods would represent a major advance over current chemotherapy, in which anticancer drugs are distributed throughout the body, attacking healthy cells along with cancer cells and causing a number of adverse side effects.
By carrying out comprehensive studies on mice with human tumors, UCLA scientists have obtained results that move the research one step closer to this goal. In a paper published July 8 in the journal Small, researchers at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center demonstrate that mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), tiny particles with thousands of pores, can store and deliver chemotherapeutic drugs in vivo and effectively suppress tumors in mice.
The researchers also showed that MSNs accumulate almost exclusively in tumors after administration and that the nanoparticles are excreted from the body after they have delivered their chemotherapeutic drugs.
The study was conducted jointly in the laboratories of Fuyu Tamanoi, a UCLA professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics and director of the signal transduction and therapeutics program at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Jeffrey Zink, a UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Tamanoi and Zink are researchers at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) and are two of the co-directors of the CNSI's Nano Machine Center for Targeted Delivery and On-Demand Release. The lead investigator on the research is Jie Lu, a postdoctoral fellow in Tamanoi's lab. Monty Liong and Zongxi Li, researchers from Zink's lab, also contributed to this work.
In the study, researchers f
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University of California - Los Angeles