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Researchers help in search for new ways to image, therapeutically target melanoma
Date:11/3/2011

to target cancer cells relative to healthy organs is a subject of great research and great potential," said Gilles.

However, failures in this effort can emerge when attachments lose affinity, when poor stability results in collapse before the nano-sized vehicle gets to the vicinity of the tumor, or when the nanoparticle size is too big to escape the body's vascular system. Each issue needs to be addressed, said Gillies.

In this study, Gilles and Morse and colleagues tested one ligand that was found to have "high affinity and selectivity" for MC1R. That ligand was subsequently modified for attachment to a polymer micelle. Noting the three hurdles to be overcome ligand affinity, nanoparticle stability and right nanoparticle size the authors concluded that their chosen ligand "remained selective after attachment" and that the increased binding affinity of the ligand to MC1R demonstrated the stability of the system.

"We are also confident that our micelles are of sufficient size to escape the vasculature, and studies in mice are underway to evaluate the selectivity and stability of this targeted micelle system," concluded Morse.

The Moffitt researchers and their colleagues also feel that this development is a step in the right direction toward more effective imaging of malignant melanoma as well as the development of better targeted therapies for individualized treatment of the disease using nano-sized drug delivery systems.


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Contact: Ferdie De Vega
Ferdinand.DeVega@moffitt.org
813-745-7858
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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