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Tiny gems take big step toward battling cancer
Date:3/9/2011

chemotherapy drug doxorubicin to them using a scalable synthesis process, which enhances sustained drug release.

Ho and his colleagues studied mouse models with liver and breast cancers. In these resistant cancers, drugs are able to get inside the tumors but are kicked right back out because of an innate response in the liver and breast to expel these drugs.

They treated one group of animals with the doxorubicin-nanodiamond complexes and another group with the drug alone. In those treated with the nanodiamond complexes, the chemotherapeutic remained in circulation longer -- up to 10 times longer -- than those treated with the drug alone. In addition, the drug itself was retained within both types of tumors for a significantly longer period of time. Such a high retention rate means a smaller amount of the very toxic drug would need to be administered, thus reducing side effects.

The researchers also found that the drug-nanodiamond complexes had no negative effect on the white blood cell count. This is especially important for cancer treatment: if the white blood cell count drops below a certain level, treatment is stopped due to the risk of major complications.

"Nanodiamonds have excellent biocompatibility, and the process of formulating nanodiamond-drug complexes is very inexpensive," said Edward K. Chow, a postdoctoral fellow with the G.W. Hooper Foundation and the University of California, San Francisco, and first author of the paper. "Nanodiamonds possess numerous hallmarks of an ideal drug delivery system and are promising platforms for advancing cancer therapy."


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Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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