MGH research suggests strategies for improving drug delivery to cancer cells
The best cancer drugs in the world are not much good if they cannot get to tumor cells. That problem has been challenging cancer physicians and researchers for years because the physical structure of many tumors can prevent anticancer agents from reaching their targets. In a study appearing in the June issue of Nature Medicine, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) describe a new technique for assessing the permeability of tumors and a promising new way of improving tumors accessibility to drugs. The report is receiving advance online publication on the journals website at http://www.nature.com/nm/.
"Weve known for a long time that many cancer drugs work very well on cells, but not so well in patients," says Rakesh Jain, PhD, director of the Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at MGH, senior author of the study. "As we have improved the understanding of tumor physiology, we have found that a significant portion of a tumor is made up of an extracellular matrix that acts as a barrier, keeping drugs away from tumor cells."
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