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Brigham and Women's Hospital Researchers Demonstrate a More Direct Delivery of Cancer Drugs to Tumors
Date:4/20/2009

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology has demonstrated a better way to deliver cancer drugs directly to tumors by using specially engineered nanoparticles that can inhibit a signaling pathway and deliver a higher concentration of medication to the specific area. Details of their work appear on April 20, in an early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Boston, MA (Vocus) April 20, 2009 -- An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology has demonstrated a better way to deliver cancer drugs directly to tumors by using specially engineered nanoparticles that can inhibit a signaling pathway and deliver a higher concentration of medication to the specific area. Details of their work appear on April 20, in an early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The team constructed the nanoparticles from a biodegradable, biocompatable, Food and Drug Administration-approved polymer which they chemically engineered to deliver a MAPK inhibitor. By inhibiting the MAPK signaling pathway, which is involved in a majority of human tumors, the nanoparticles hinder the multiplication of cancerous cells and predispose those cells to the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapeutic drugs. The team also modified the polymer to increase drug loading 20 fold, which overcomes a current drawback in nanomedicine, low efficiency of drug loading.

"Current chemotherapeutic drugs must be administered
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