The Nanovehicle: Promising Method of Delivering Cancer Drugs

Israeli researchers from the Tel Aviv University of Israel have developed a new delivery platform for chemotherapy drugs. The platform, or nanovehicle can effectively deliver up to two different types of chemotherapy drugs simultaneously to the cancerous organ in cancer patients. This is expected to significantly increase the efficiency and reduce the toxicity of the drug, as less drugs enter systemic circulation.

Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro along with Ph.D. candidates Ela Markovsky and Hemda Baabur-Cohen from the pharmacology and physiology departments of the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, are the pioneers for this project, expected to appear on the cover of the August issue of the Journal of Controlled Release.

The researchers sought to find an efficient and synergistic cocktail of two drugs that could be administered directly to a cancerous growth by utilizing a nanometric platform. To date, the treatment is shown to be more efficient and produces less toxicity compared to current chemotherapy.

The challenge of creating an optimum combination of two drugs was solved by Satchi-Fainaro and her team, when they decided to use the drug doxorubicin, an antibiotic anti-cancer drug and the paclitaxel, a chemotherapy drug. However, the need to boost the efficacy of the treatment was a challenge, as the drugs do not reach tumors simultaneously. That was what sparked the idea behind this platform.

Satchi-Fainaro likens the platform to a shared cab by passengers going to the same destination. The platform, a kind of nanovehicle, is actually a polymer known as polyglycolic acid, which was infused with the two drugs and then administered to the mice with a model of breast cancer and ovarian cancer is designed to circulate throughout the body without acting on healthy cells. Satchi-Fainaro said that the drugs administered via this method achieved a much higher efficiency at than administering them separately.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons


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