The treatment of mice with camptothecin-loaded MSNs led to shrinkage and regression of xenograft tumors. By the end of the treatment, the mice were essentially tumor free, and acute and long-term toxicity of MSNs to the mice was negligible. Mice with breast cancer were used in this study, but the researchers have recently obtained similar results using mice with human pancreatic cancer.
"Our present study shows, for the first time, that MSNs are effective for anticancer drug delivery and that the capacity for tumor suppression is significant," Tamanoi said.
"Two properties of these nanoparticles are important," Lu said. "First, their ability to accumulate in tumors is excellent. They appear to evade the surveillance mechanism that normally removes materials foreign to the body. Second, most of the nanoparticles that were injected into the mice were excreted out through urine and feces within four days. The latter results are quite interesting and might explain the low toxicity observed in the biocompatabilty experiments we conducted."
Researchers at the Nano Machine Center for Targeted Delivery and On-Demand Release are modifying MSNs which are easily modifiable so that the nanoparticles can be equipped with nanomachines. For example, nanovalves are being attached at the opening of the pores to control the release of anticancer drugs. In addition, the interior of the pores is being modified so that the light-induced release of anticancer drugs can be achieved.
"We can modify both the particles themselves and also the attachments on the particles in a wide variety of ways, which makes this material particularly attractive for engineering drug-delivery vehicles," Zink said.
|Contact: Jennifer Marcus|
University of California - Los Angeles