Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Transport Anti-Cancer Drugs Directly to Tumors

14.07.2008
Kansas State University researchers are working on a method of delivering cancer drugs that promises to be more efficient and reduce the side effects patients have to deal with.

"Although chemotherapy has saved many lives, it often has undesirable side effects," said Deryl Troyer, professor of anatomy and physiology at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine. "The people most excited about this research are people who have gone through chemo, because our approach may circumvent many of those side effects."

Troyer and two K-State faculty -- Duy Hua, university distinguished professor of chemistry, and Masaaki Tamura, associate professor of anatomy and physiology -- received a $380,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health. They are studying how stem cells can be used to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to breast cancer cells via nanoparticles. The researchers have studied the method in vitro but soon hope to study the method in preclinical models. The research is a part of the program of the Midwest Institute for Comparative Stem Cell Biology at K-State and has received support from K-State's Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research.

The researchers are using stem cells isolated from Wharton's jelly, the substance that cushions blood vessels in the umbilical cord. These types of stem cells can be harvested noninvasively and therefore are not controversial.

"Billions and billions of these cells are disposed of every day," Troyer said. "We think these cells have a lot of advantages, including their ability to be harvested in large numbers very rapidly."

Troyer said the stem cells display a sort of homing ability in that they tend to travel to tumors and other pathological lesions. The researchers are using these stem cells as delivery systems by loading the cells with nanoparticles that contain anti-cancer drugs.

"We are using the cells as stealth vehicles," Troyer said.

Hua is fabricating the nanoparticles and some of the small-molecule drugs for the research. The tiny capsules carrying the drugs are nanogels made up of two polymers. The nanogel has a dye molecule that allows the researchers to follow it through the body using a fluorescent microscope.

The nanogel capsules are loaded into a stem cell, which responds to proteins sent out by the cancer cells by homing to them, Hua said. As the stem cells reach the cancer tissues, another chemical that induces cell death of the stem cells will be administered -- only stem cells are engineered to respond to this additional drug. This means that the nanogel-encapsulated drugs will be released from the stem cells directly at the cancer tissue.

"The nanogel can be viewed as a very tiny piece of paper that wraps around the anti-cancer drug like a candy wrapper," Hua said. "Over time or under certain conditions, the paper unwraps and releases the candy. Most anti-cancer drugs, including ours, are insoluble in water. However, the nanogel is water soluble."

Because the drugs are going directly to cancer cells, Troyer said this method potentially can cause fewer side effects than less direct methods like intravenous chemotherapy. Troyer said that this research will make existing but underused cancer drugs more useful to the doctors who treat people with cancer.

"Many potent small-molecule drugs are sitting on a shelf collecting dust," Troyer said. "Often they are insoluble or have many toxic effects. We hope to deliver some of these compounds in a more targeted manner via the combination of stem cells and nanoparticles. Although nanotechnology has made enormous strides toward more focused drug delivery, there is always room for improvement."

Duy Hua | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Lightning, with a chance of antimatter

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

A huge hydrogen generator at the Earth's core-mantle boundary

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Scientists find why CP El Niño is harder to predict than EP El Niño

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>