Scientists at the Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) and UNSW Sydney have found a way to get treatment drugs to act selectively on cancer cells in the body. The study was centered on children with aggressive blood cancers. The cancer drug, doxorubicin, were encapsulated in tiny particles. The scientists added antibodies capable of recognizing and attaching to the drug at one end and to cancer cells at the other end.
“Finding a way to make treatment drugs act more selectively on cancer cells is the key to improving treatment success while reducing toxicity in children treated for high-risk leukaemia,” said lead researcher Professor Maria Kavallaris. Treatment for high-risk leukaemias generally involves high doses of toxic drugs that flood the body, affecting cancer cells and healthy cells alike. Reducing treatment toxicity is a goal and this method could be a way. Australian nanomedicine researchers believe this approach could be used to improve the selectivity of a whole range of new-generation therapeutic agents.