Navigation Links
Taxol bristle ball: a wrench in the works for cancer
Date:9/12/2007

HOUSTON, Sept. 12, 2007 Rice University chemists have discovered a way to load dozens of molecules of the anti-cancer drug paclitaxel onto tiny gold spheres. The result is a tiny ball, many times smaller than a living cell that literally bristles with the drug.

Paclitaxel, which is sold under the brand name Taxol, prevents cancer cells from dividing by jamming their inner works.

"Paclitaxel is one of the most effective anti-cancer drugs, and many researchers are exploring how to deliver much more of the drug directly to cancer cells," said lead researcher Eugene Zubarev, the Norman Hackerman-Welch Young Investigator and assistant professor of chemistry at Rice. "We looked for an approach that would clear the major hurdles people have encountered -- solubility, drug efficacy, bioavailability and uniform dispersion -- and our initial results look very promising."

The research is available online and will appear in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, vol. 129, pgs.11653-11661).

First isolated from the bark of the yew tree in 1967, paclitaxel is one of the most widely prescribed chemotherapy drugs in use today. The drug is used to treat breast, ovarian and other cancers.

Paclitaxel works by attaching itself to structural supports called microtubules, which form the framework inside living cells. In order to divide, cells must break down their internal framework, and paclitaxel stops this process by locking the support into place.

Since cancer cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells, paclitaxel is very effective at slowing the growth of tumors in some patients. However, one problem with using paclitaxel as a general inhibitor of cell division is that it works on all cells, including healthy cells that tend to divide rapidly. This is why patients undergoing chemotherapy sometimes suffer side effects like hair loss and suppressed immune function.

"Ideally, we'd like to deliver more of the drug directly to the cancer cells and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy," Zubarev said. "In addition, we'd like to improve the effectiveness of the drug, perhaps by increasing its ability to stay bound to microtubules within the cell."

Zubarev's new delivery system centers on a tiny ball of gold that's barely wider than a strand of DNA. Finding a chemical process to attach a uniform number of paclitaxel molecules to the ball -- without chemically altering the drugs -- was not easy. Only a specific region of the drug binds with microtubules. This region of the drugs fits neatly into the cell's support structure, like a chemical "key" fitting into a lock. Zubarev and graduate student Jacob Gibson knew they had to find a way to make sure the drug's key was located on the face of each bristle.

Zubarev and Gibson first designed a chemical "wrapper" to shroud the key, protecting it from the chemical reactions they needed to perform to create the ball. Using the wrapped version of the drug, they undertook a series of reactions to attach the drug to linker molecules that were, in turn, attached to the ball. In the final step of the reaction, they dissolved the wrapper, restoring the key.

"We are already working on follow-up studies to determine the potency of the paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles," Zubarev said. "Since each ball is loaded with a uniform number of drug molecules, we expect it will be relatively easy to compare the effectiveness of the nanoparticles with the effectiveness of generally administered paclitaxel."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Fireworks can spell death for asthmatic children
2. How a mans mind really works
3. Drug Combo Works Better for children with ADHD, Tics
4. How brain works
5. Meditation Works Medically
6. A first in Liver Transplant in India – Networking works wel
7. Warts: Spanner in Lovers Works!
8. Shot Supply: Reduced Dosage of Seasonal flu Vaccine, Works!
9. Subliminal Advertising works
10. De-addiction Drug Works For Alcoholics Too
11. Vagal Nerve Stimulation Works To Treat Severe Depression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Steven Tonkinson, 36, of Coconut Grove, Florida, ... since it started in 2003. This year, he ran all 26.2 miles with a ... NBA team the Miami Heat. , This Sunday, while many are watching the Superbowl, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Successful ... for new clinical and scientific initiatives have all marked the last 12 months ... President and CEO of the nation’s oldest cancer center, Candace S. Johnson, PhD, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Looking for ... may be at the tips of your toes. Foot massage, whether administered by a ... pure comfort and relaxation. The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps , official operators of Nike ... high-performance kids yoga training. ChildLight Yoga Studio is centrally situated in the picturesque New ... ChildLight Yoga Studio founder Lisa Flynn expresses her excitement, “We are thrilled to be ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Give To Cure ... to search for and donate to Give To Cure’s campaign that is crowdfunding clinical ... lets users make and share payments through a smart device. In 2015 alone, Venmo ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016  As people age, it is natural ... recommended screenings and tests that are linked with certain ... for the majority of aging individuals, hearing health is ... the 37.5 million American adults who report some trouble ... make hearing health a 2016 healthy aging priority.[1] ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD ), today announced that ... at Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare Conference ... p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.  Mr. Joyce will ... 3:15 p.m. ET. http://www.aethlonmedical.com .  The webcast will ... of the live event. The panel discussion will not be ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ... the previously announced underwritten secondary offering of 11,027,558 shares ... consisting of affiliates of Blackstone and Goldman Sachs.  The ... initial price of $96.45 per share. The selling stockholders ...  Neither Zimmer Biomet nor any of its directors, officers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: