Nanoparticles can deliver three drugs at once
Researchers have made more progress in reducing the deleterious effects of conventional chemotherapy. Using specially designed nanoparticles, chemists at MIT were able to deliver three different cancer drugs at once, and then release them in response to three different triggers.
In the future, these nanoparticles may be able to carry even more than three drugs, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The researchers say these triple threat nanoparticles can kill ovarian cancer cells more effectively than particles carrying only one or two drugs. They have begun testing them in animals.
To make these nanoparticles, researchers created building blocks that already included the drug, rather than building the particle and then attaching the drug molecules. The building blocks can be joined together in a very specific structure, and the researchers can control the amount of drug included. Each drug also would have its own distinct release mechanism.
Researchers think the ability to produce large quantities of these nanoparticles will enable large-scale testing and lead to new cancer treatments that won't have the side effects that many cancer patients now suffer.